Following the debacle of its Fire phone, Amazon continues releasing products under the Fire brand of consumer electronics. The latest addition, Fire Stick, is a competitor for famous Google Chromecast at just $4 more.
The Fire Stick performs most of the tasks performed by the Fire TV media streaming box released earlier this year by Amazon.com. It comes with a remote control (without the Fire TV’s voice controls) and access to Amazon’s Prime Video, along with the standard lineup of services like Netflix, Hulu and WatchESPN. The Fire Stick also resembles Google’s Chromecast, which went on sale last summer.
The Fire Stick costs $39, slightly more than the $35 Google version. For the next two days, Prime members can buy it for $19.
Unlike the critically panned Fire Phone, Fire TV has been generally well received. It was priced at the same level as its competitors, and Amazon pushed it heavily in ads, both on TV and online. Amazon just continues to have trouble persuading people to buy its devices.
Amazon is pushing ahead because it sees these devices as a critical part of its plan to sell more digital content to its customers. The latest move is part of a wider industry shift from streaming media boxes towards the cheaper streaming sticks.
“That is really changing the overall sale structure of the industry,” says Barbara Kraus, an analyst with Parks Associates.
The company announced on Monday that it’s taking preorders for the streaming media stick which plugs into a TV.