Amazon, Best Buy Partner to Sell Smart TVs

Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV

Brick-and-mortar retail is dead?

At a launch event Tuesday in Bellevue, Wash., Best Buy and Amazon executives declined to discuss the financial terms of their deal, the Wall Street Journal reported. Or Amazon for that matter.

The Richfield, Minn. -based retailer will roll out almost a dozen 4K and HD Fire TV Edition models from Toshiba and Insignia, the latter of which is one of Best Buy's private-label brands, starting this summer. "Clearly, Amazon has been a leader in the bolt-on business with the Fire TV sticks and boxes, but they were behind a little bit in getting out to televisions".

"Amazon and Best Buy have a long history of working together, and today we take our partnership to a new level", said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. Once you've connected any HD antenna, you'll be able to use Alexa to search through broadcast content, or your streaming content from sources including Netflix, Prime Video, HBO, PlayStation Vue, and Hulu. Fire TV Edition-branded TVs come with Fire TV software built-in, as well as Echo pairing capabilities and an Alexa remote.

Customers in the United States will get access to the first Fire TV Edition smart TV from Toshiba beginning in the summer and additional models to be released later in 2018.

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The move is also just the latest example of how Amazon recognizes that many consumers still prefer to buy things like big TVs - not to mention kale - in physical stores.

In addition to its own stores (an Amazon Go cashier-less convince store opened its doors earlier this year), Amazon is creating partnerships with traditional retailers in a sector that is threatened by its dominance. Best Buy had been using Roku's operating system. Roku devices and Roku powered TVs are still pretty popular. Best Buy has played this role in a number of areas, including, most recently, 4K televisions, premium computing and the smart home.

Shares of Amazon rose slightly in premarket trading. The company reported strong sales during the 2017 holiday season, thanks in large part to TV and smartphone sales. On the other hand, Best Buy gains retail exclusivity.

Translation: Yes, Best Buy has this splashy new deal with Amazon that makes it a preferred third-partys seller on Amazon's site.