IMDb TV, Amazon’s free, ad-supported video-on-demand streaming service, is changing its name to Amazon Freevee, starting April 27. The rebranding had been in the works for some time, with the idea that the new moniker would share its parent company’s Amazon brand.
Originally launched as Freedive in January 2019, IMDb TV has grown dramatically, becoming an important pillar of Amazon’s broader push into video advertising.
Over the past two years, IMDb TV has tripled the number of monthly active users, fueled by increased distribution and a foray into originals. After launching in the UK last September, Freevee will continue its international expansion with a launch in Germany later this year.
Additionally, the plan is for Freevee to increase its slate of originals by 70% in 2022, including longest-running original series spinoffs for Prime Video, Bosch: legacy, premiering May 6; a new home-design series, Hollywood house lift with Jeff Lewis; Greg Garcia’s Comedy Series On springs; australian crime drama Troppo; and High school, a scripted series adapted for television by Clea DuVall, produced by Plan B and based on the New York Times best-selling memoir by Grammy-nominated platinum recording artists Tegan and Sara Quin. Amazon’s free streaming service will announce additional green lights during its NewFronts presentation on May 2.
“Over the past two years, we have experienced phenomenal growth in our AVOD service and are committed to providing our audience with premium free-to-consumer content,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “We look forward to building on this momentum with a growing roster of inventive and broadly engaging originals, and we’re excited to establish Freevee as the premier AVOD service with content that audiences crave.”
Additionally, the free streaming service will be adding exclusive original movies to its roster, starting with the workplace-acquired rom-com. Accidentally love, with Brenda Song and Aaron O’Connell. In Accidentally love, Alexa (Song) and Jason (O’Connell) fight over a promotion at their advertising agency when each of their loved ones breaks up with them. Thinking she texted a friend, Alexa mistakenly sends Jason a heartbroken message. The two start an anonymous relationship via text without either knowing who the other really is. When the truth comes out, can they put their rivalry aside and let true love prevail? accidentally loving also features Denise Richards and Maxwell Caulfield, while Barry Barnholtz, Zelma Kiwi and Jeffrey Schenck serve as executive producers.
“We’ve been thrilled with the viewers’ response to our modern television network in a streaming landscape,” said Lauren Anderson and Ryan Pirozzi, Co-Heads of Content and Programming for Freevee. “With Freevee, our current and future viewers will experience a home that empowers creative talent to tell impactful, entertaining and inspiring stories; a service accessible to all and free from the constraints of time slots and device availability; and a destination that offers customers content that is both new and familiar, escapist and engaging, for free. »
Amazon said its 2021 ad revenue topped $31 billion, up 32% from 2020 and positioning the tech giant as a formidable No. 3 taking aim at longtime ad kings Facebook and Google . Key growth drivers include Twitch, a live outlet focused on video gamers; Prime Video sports, which will soon include weekly NFL broadcasts; and IMDb TV.
The rebranding and investment in Freevee comes as AVOD continues to thrive. Besides long-time players like Crackle, Pluto, Tubi, Roku Channel, and Hulu, new entrants include Peacock and HBO Max. Disney also announced plans for an ad-supported version of Disney+.
Last May, during its first presentation at the annual NewFronts, Amazon said that IMDb’s viewership had jumped 138% over the previous year at that time, surpassing other services funded by the advertisement.
Dade Hayes contributed to this report.