& cplSiteName &

Amazon Gets on the Stick Too

Mari Silbey
3/18/2014
50%
50%

The Amazon set-top that Bloomberg said would launch last fall is now reportedly in the queue for next month. And it's no longer a set-top, but a streaming stick. (See Amazon Set-Top Slated for Fall.)

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) will sell the new Android-based gadget through its website and through retailers, including Staples and Best Buy. Meanwhile, Techcrunch is reporting that the device will be an HDMI adapter like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Chromecast and the latest offering from Roku Inc. (See Roku Sticks It to Google.)

Unlike its competitors, the Amazon streamer is said to be a source for gaming as well as video. The details aren't yet confirmed, but it's possible that the Amazon stick will stream existing PC titles in addition to offering access to Android games. Dave Zatz of Zatz Not Funny recently found evidence of an Amazon Bluetooth gaming controller that could pair nicely with a game-oriented HDMI stick.

On the video side, Amazon is likely to promote its own Instant Video offering, but multiple outlets also suggest the company's new retail gadget will ship with Netflix and Hulu Plus support. Netflix service, at the very least, should now be considered table stakes in the retail streaming market.

Even as more big brands jump on the streaming stick bandwagon, it could be a while before US cable operators follow suit. Although the cable companies like the idea of deploying cheaper hardware, vendors are still working out the kinks to make sure that an HDMI adapter could support a full premium television service.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) apparently has fewer misgivings. Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said earlier this month that the set-top it acquired through the acquisition of Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)'s OnCue assets is "a little bit bigger than my thumb." However, it's not clear if Verizon would offer the OnCue device with a fully-fledged FiOS TV service, or if it would use the hardware to market a lighter pay-TV package. (See Can Cable Stick One on Chromecast?.)

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(15)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First        ADD A COMMENT
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/18/2014 | 5:29:37 PM
Amazon Gets on the Stick Too
Mari, interesting questions.

I vote that Verizon will go with the pay-lite and offer a package to attract the markets they don't already dominate.

I can imageine that Amazon has more choices in that they can play to their markets and their partnerships, including special packages with Netflix.  They may be able to put together a very competitive offering.

What role do you see for set-boxes in the future?
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/18/2014 | 6:13:50 PM
Re: Amazon Gets on the Stick Too
I wonder what, if anything, will differentiate the Amazon product from Chromecast, Roku, and Apple TV. Seems like the marketplace is getting crowded with extremely similar products. 
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/18/2014 | 6:19:40 PM
Amazon Gets on the Stick Too
@FakeMitchWagner, agreed.  In the listing you provided I think Apple will be hard to beat. 

I think, however, that Amazon may again come up with an "angle", like with an attractive streaming arrangement with their partners, that could be competitive.  Otherwise, they are going to have an uphill swim - as you point out, it is getting crowded.
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/18/2014 | 8:00:36 PM
Re: Amazon Gets on the Stick Too
That sounds tough (an 'angle').

I have Netflix, Amazon, & Hulu. After a while, it all starts to look & feel the same. I mean we notice from time to time that one service has something another doesn't content-wise, but that's the only real differentiator.

So unless Amazon can get some incredible conten package that the others don't already have, it seems like just another play in an already played-out market.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/18/2014 | 8:05:34 PM
Re: Amazon Gets on the Stick Too
@Pcharles09 Is that why you keep all 3, because they all offer somewhat different content? 
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
3/19/2014 | 8:34:36 AM
Re: Amazon Gets on the Stick Too
The story suggests there might be some differentiation here in the Amazon stick if it offers gaming. Otherwise, all things being equal, that either leaves us with price deciding a winner, or the notion that many sticks will exist and customers will go with the provider with whom they already have the strongest relationship.
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/24/2014 | 9:21:13 PM
Re: Amazon Gets on the Stick Too
I guess so. It's probably the fear that once I cancel one of them, they'll magically decide to offer a show I like.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/24/2014 | 9:38:24 PM
Re: Amazon Gets on the Stick Too
@pcharles09, ah, the fear of missing out. 
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/27/2014 | 10:38:32 PM
Re: Amazon Gets on the Stick Too
It's sad but it's true. They should write more about this in books that we're forced to read when we're young. So we understand the dynamic better.
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/18/2014 | 8:31:46 PM
Amazon Gets on the Stick Too
@pcharles09 - good assessment.  They are entering a "crowded field".  It will be up to them to provide something truly unique.  I don't think anyone else could do it and it will be questionable if they can - but if anyone can, I believe they have the network to pull something together that becomes viable.  Another "vanilla" version won't cut it.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/19/2014 | 8:56:48 AM
Re: Amazon Gets on the Stick Too
@DHagar, yes, we need chocolate! Or at least chocolate chip!
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/19/2014 | 1:01:14 PM
Amazon Gets on the Stick Too
DOShea, Gaming would be an interesting mix.  That also brings up the question of whether or not Amazon has a target market (i.e., demographics)? 

 
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/19/2014 | 1:48:22 PM
Re: Amazon Gets on the Stick Too
Amazon's entry into the stick wars could be a game changer, pun intended. Gaming is a large industry and if enough of the younger crowd buys into the Amazon world it may just know Google's Chromecast down a step or two. Anyone entering that field now has to come with something unique or cool to outstep Google.
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/19/2014 | 1:04:39 PM
Amazon Gets on the Stick Too
@Ariella, there you go!  Clearly something that provides what consumers want would be an edge.  Making the consumer king could go a long way towards Chocolate Chip!
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/19/2014 | 2:18:48 PM
Amazon Gets on the Stick Too
@kq4ym, interesting thought.  I am almost thinking in the Google/Amazon race that Google could win?  But this will be interesting to watch and yes, I fully agree they must have some target strategy in mind, given the competition; just look what they did when they entered the crowded market with Kindle.

 
From The Founder
Either we perform a complete 'factory reset' on the way the telecom industry creates and deploys virtualization, or we face the consequences.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Infinera Introduces Instant Network

4|20|17   |     |   (1) comment


Mike Capuano, vice president of marketing at Infinera, discusses the advancement from Instant Bandwidth to new Instant Network capabilities, which include Bandwidth License Pools, Moveable Licenses and Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE).
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Vodafone's Eubank on Sponsors, Mentors & Moving On Up

4|19|17   |   4:25   |   (0) comments


Vodafone America's Head of Operations Kimberly Eubank breaks down the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and shares why both made a big difference in her career.
LRTV Custom TV
NYC Auto Show: Are We Smart Yet?

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


The auto industry is facing some big transformations as electric vehicles, autonomous technology and connected cars are seen as the future of the industry. During the much-anticipated NY international auto show, there was an emergence of new technology and mobility service on the show floor. Aside from performance, brands like Lincoln, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes and ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Impact of Video

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Mercer from Strategy Analytics discusses the impact of video on current strategies.
LRTV Custom TV
Pardeep Kohli Discusses Network Transformation & the Market Opportunity for the 'New' Mavenir Systems

4|13|17   |     |   (0) comments


In a brief discussion at MWC 2017, Heavy Reading analyst Adi Kishore talks to Pardeep Kohli, CEO, Mavenir Systems about the creation of the 'new Mavenir' and some of the key challenges facing operators in today's market. A key theme of the discussion centers around operator need for software-only, virtualized solutions and how they will need to adapt to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Tech Maverick Shares Her Tips for Gender Inclusivity

4|12|17   |   7:28   |   (0) comments


Wendy Hall Bohling, a corporate escapee, author and gender exclusivity consultant, tells her story of sexism, bias and progress along the road to gender equality in the workforce.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at MWC 2017

4|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress 2017, the biggest mobile industry gathering of the year, Huawei showcased its new innovations and solutions with the theme "Open Road," which focuses on cloud, 5G, operation transformation, videos and consumer-oriented products. Its campaign has been recognized by three awards given by GSMA.
LRTV Custom TV
China Telecom NFV Infrastructure on RSD

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Lynn Comp, senior director of market development of Intel, is joined by Chong Zhang, storage engineer at Inspur and Ou Li Yan, architect for technology strategies of China Telecom on what NFV brings.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's IMPACT Software Demo

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Khamis Abulgubein of IoT market development at Nokia demonstrates IMPACT (intelligent management platform for all connected things), a software solution with a horizontal approach to managing any device on any application.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia Introduces Virtual Service Router for More Rapid Service

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


James Cumming, product line manager for virtualized service routers at Nokia, demonstrates how the virtual router based off the Nokia ecosystem changes the network function experience.
LRTV Custom TV
The Keys to SD-WAN Success

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa Networks CEO Kelly Ahuja talks about the key requirements for service provider-managed SD-WANs.
LRTV Custom TV
Intel & Cisco on Joint 5G Solutions

4|5|17   |     |   (0) comments


Dave Ward, SVP and CTO of Cisco, is joined by Sandra Rivera, corporate VP and general manager of network platforms group of Intel, on the revolutionary 5G technology that changes networking and computing fundamentally.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Brazos Hall - Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Time for a Telecom Reboot
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 4/19/2017
Comcast Ready for Clash With Hulu
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/18/2017
Unlicensed: It's What's Next for US Mobile Operators
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/19/2017
Verizon's Fiber Spend Won't End With Corning
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
Now That's an Ad Campaign Click Here
Meerkats to the rescue!
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.