April 15, 2022
Amazon Studios’ free streaming service IMDb TV has been rebranded Freevee as part of a global expansion. The ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) platform has in the past two years tripled its monthly active users, with growth driven by “rapid distribution across living room devices and mobile, an increasing slate of originals, frequently updated library of licensed content and more than 60 channels,” according to Amazon. Following a successful launch in the UK last September, Freevee will launch in Germany this year and plans to expand original programming by 70 percent in 2022.
“While Amazon hasn’t released an active user metric for Freevee, the company reported in May that it has 120 million monthly active users across all of its ad-supported video content, which included former IMDb TV, Twitch, live sports, among other channels,” TechCrunch reports.
In making the announcement, Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke noted the company’s success in free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST), saying the company will build on existing momentum “to establish Freevee as the premier AVOD service with content audiences crave.”
Freevee is also adding to its slate of original movies, “starting with a greenlight order for the workplace rom-com ‘Love Accidentally,’” starring Brenda Song and Aaron O’Connell as star-crossed lovers at an ad agency. Amazon Studios details its Freevee original content plans in its announcement and says it will disclose more shows at a May 2 NewFronts presentation.
“Our new name clearly communicates who we are: An easy-to-navigate streaming service, available to users for free, whenever and wherever they choose to watch some of the greatest original and licensed content available,” Freevee director Ashraf Alkarmi said in the announcement, in which he states Freevee has “half the commercials of traditional TV.”
TechCrunch reports “many consumers aren’t that bothered by commercials, and if the streaming service is free, you can bet there will be viewers flocking to it. Whip Media’s TV Time data shows that almost 50 percent of free streaming users viewed a platform a few times a week and 20 percent always choose a free ad-supported TV option over other streaming services.”
The outlet notes that over the years, IMDb TV “outpaced its AVOD rivals, the Roku Channel, Tubi and Pluto TV. In 2021, IMDb TV viewership had grown 138 percent over the previous year, according to Amazon. The company has also boasted that those who watch the service spend an average of 5.5 hours per week.”
The IMDb website, an informational database with more than 10 million film and television titles, remains unaffected by the rebranding.