Corus Entertainment saw an opportunity. The Canadian media and content company wanted to reach a newer, younger audience and ensure they were delivering the best customer experience by offering content on a variety of services.
To expand their reach, Corus turned to Amazon Fire TV. The goal was to offer their Global TV app to Fire TV customers, allowing cable customers to watch a live feed of shows as well as their back-catalog of shows on-demand. For customers who don't have a cable account, they can watch full episodes for free, on-demand for the first seven days after they air on TV.
“We saw Fire TV growing quickly in Canada and we thought we could be part of that growth by being on the device early,” said Kenny Norton, product manager at Corus.
Nishant Patel, a developer at Corus, added: “We also liked the affordable price point for our customers, which helps with the overall customer experience.”
Fastest app development time
To build their Global TV app for Fire TV, the Corus team decided to create a hybrid web app. This was the first hybrid app they created and, on top of that, they were on a short deadline. Despite these hurdles, it was the fastest they've ever released an app.
“The ability to have a hybrid app was very nice because we don't always have that option with other partners,” said Rion Meehan, a developer who worked on the Fire TV app. “We utilized pieces we had from other apps to move quickly and ended up experiencing our fastest development time.”
Hybrid apps also provide extra benefits to the development team by giving them more control over app changes.
“We can make changes much faster because we don't have to push out a new build. It's all on our end and we can update the content whenever we want. For example, we can make changes to our legal information, update FAQs and terms of service, or change the navigation without pushing a new update,” said Meehan.
Success in four months
The Global TV app launched in December 2018 for Fire TV devices and Fire TV Edition smart TVs. In just four months, the app has had over 110,000 downloads and is one of the top free apps on the Amazon.ca Fire TV store.
“We're really happy with the success. Fire TV is our fastest growing channel right now,” said Norton.
This success has also allowed the Corus marketing team to “be closer to our audience and better understand who they are.”
“It's helpful for us, as marketers, to see the content consumed on different services,” said Nadia Niccoli, director of Global TV marketing and brand strategy. “Fire TV has allowed us to learn different things about our audience. For example, we saw that our lifestyle and entertainment shows performed well on Fire TV when we didn't see the same results on other services. We leaned into that to understand this customer set and now know what content to prioritize on Fire TV to make our customers happy.”
A strong partnership
The Corus team credits their positive experience to the deep partnership that formed between Corus and Amazon.
“Seeing the results we are getting and the support we received, we would absolutely recommend that other companies evaluate Fire TV,” said Niccoli. “Amazon was equally invested in our success, which we haven't seen from other partners. It's easy to justify putting resources behind Fire TV when you know there is a mutually beneficial partnership and that we are going to serve our customers where they want their content.”
Get started with Fire TV
Amazon offers several tools to help developers build a streaming media app for Fire TV. Web App Starter Kit for Fire TV (WASK) is a full-featured customizable HTML5 web app template designed for quickly creating dynamic media apps suited for the 10-foot experience. Fire App Builder provides a Java-based framework that you can use to easily and quickly build streaming media Android apps for Amazon Fire TV.
For more information on Amazon's dedicated tools and templates, download our free eBook, “How to Develop Media Streaming Apps for Amazon Fire TV."