If you’ve been stuck in a quarantine meal rut and want to learn how to cook something fresh and exciting, Amazon has some good news for you. Variety reports Amazon announced today that it is giving Food Network Kitchen to all Fire TV and Fire Tablet users in the U.S..
Launched last fall, Food Network Kitchen features live and on-demand cooking classes from its roster of celebrity chefs including Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray and Guy Fieri. A subscription to the service normally runs $4.99 a month or $39.99 a year.
If you’re among the more than 40 million active Fire TV or Tablet users however, Amazon is footing that bill — for a year, anyway. The e-commerce behemoth is paying Discovery, which owns Food Network, for all the subscriptions.
Food Network Kitchen has more than 2,300 on-demand cooking classes, but had to halt production of its live offerings because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Variety writes that the live shows will return at the beginning of May, though they will be shot in the home kitchens of its celebrity chefs, rather than in a studio.
In addition to cooking content, Food Network Kitchen also has shoppable recipes for an e-commerce component and will be launching a meal planning feature soon. Ingredients for meals can be purchased directly through the app via Amazon Fresh, Peapod or Instacart. Though given how sheltering in place has caused a national surge in grocery e-commerce (Amazon now waitlists new Fresh customers and Instacart is adding another 250,000 of its shoppers to keep up with demand), this feature may not be useful to consumers until things settle out.
One curious bit about today’s news is that reports only mention that the deal covers Fire TV and Fire Tablet users. Food Network Kitchen is also available on Amazon’s Alexa devices that feature a screen, like the Echo Show. Are those devices not included? We reached out to Discover to find out more. UPDATE: A Discovery rep told us that the offer will be extended to Echo Show customers later this year.
A Food Network exec told Variety that its app has been downloaded more than 5 million times since launch, and that both viewtime and subscriptions are up 50 percent each during this coronavirus lockdown. Free access to Food Network’s celebrity chefs combined with Amazon’s massive promotional capabilities should be a huge shot in the arm for the service.
If Discovery wanted to make even more of an impact, it would fast track a show about making bread.