The online retail giant announced last week that it’s rebranding IMDb TV effective April 27, 2022.
And with that punny name change could come some content changes that shape the way we view free streaming content moving forward.
Here are the details of the announcement and what it may mean for the future of ad-supported video on-demand (AVOD) content.
IMDb TV Soon Will Become Amazon Freevee
IMDb TV, which originated as a derivative of the popular IMDb website (Internet Movie Database), which serves as a reference point for all of Hollywood’s credits, will be rebranded by Amazon as Freevee on April 27.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know.
What Is IMDb TV in the First Place?
IMDb TV is a free streaming service that offers on-demand movies and TV shows. In exchange for the freebies, you’re expected to watch the commercials that are sprinkled into the content.
If you want to learn more, you can get a detailed explanation of the service from Team Clark here.
What Changes Will Amazon Make Beyond the Name?
Amazon plans to increase the amount of original content created just for Freevee. As part of this announcement, Amazon indicated that it is going to expand its original content library on the service by 70% in 2022 alone.
There are a couple of factors that are likely contributing to the push for improvements on this service.
First, Amazon acquired Hollywood studio MGM in a mega $8.5 billion deal earlier this year. So it has more infrastructure to create original content in-house.
And second, Amazon has seen pretty aggressive growth in its userbase for IMDb TV in recent quarters. Monthly active users have tripled on the platform over the last two years according to Bloomberg.
“We’re looking forward to building on this momentum with an increasing slate of inventive and broadly appealing Originals, and are excited to establish Freevee as the premier AVOD service with content audiences crave,” Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said in the release.
Simply put: There are more eyeballs on this service than ever before, and making the content better will bring even more consumers to the free service, which should drive more ad revenue for the business.
What Kind of Original Content Can We Expect on Freevee?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Freevee currently has the following projects in the works:
- Bosh: Legacy
- High School
The report indicates that some additional movies and TV show projects for Freevee could be announced in May. All of these would be in addition to the existing library of original content.
Here’s a look at some of the original content already available via IMDb TV:
As mentioned above, the acquisition of MGM is likely to generate new content opportunities for Freevee in the future.
Keep in mind that original content production is a significant strategy shift for the free streaming space, which is primarily filled with “old reruns” of TV shows and movies of yesteryear on services such as Pluto, Tubi TV and even IMDb TV itself.
Is This The Same Thing As Amazon’s Prime Video?
Prime Video is another Amazon-produced streaming service. It is not the same as Freevee and should not be directly impacted by this announcement at least not as it pertains to the way you pay for and watch content on the subscription service.
Amazon Prime subscribers get access to Prime Video as part of their subscriptions, but streamers can also pay for Prime Video as a standalone product. Access to Prime Video gives streamers access to ad-free, original content that will not be available on Freevee.
There may be opportunities for Prime Video and Freevee to collaborate in the future, but they are separate services.
Clark Howard Is a Fan of Ad-Supported Free Streaming
It probably comes as no surprise to loyal Clark Howard readers and listeners that the money expert is a huge fan of the free streaming movement.
Recently, he spoke about the emergence of this type of service as the “next frontier” for streaming on an episode of The Clark Howard Podcast.
Consumers are starting to feel the squeeze when it comes to monthly dues for video on-demand streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max and Disney+. Subscriptions to just the three I mentioned could run you close to $50 per month after taxes.
Clark believes there’s enough consumer pushback that content giants like Amazon, Disney, Paramount and NBC are having to consider using ad-supported content as a means of attracting consumers who are tired of footing the bill for ad-free life.
Amazon’s actions here seem to support that notion, and Clark says it’s time to take advantage of the free options out there and put some money back in your wallet by canceling streaming subscriptions that you don’t use often and replacing them in your life with things like Freevee.
“I really want you to think about this in a time when we’re getting cost-squeezed so many different places because of the inflationary cycle we’re in in the United States,” Clark says. “This is a way that you can pull money back into your life out of your monthly expenses.”
You can watch Clark talk more about this topic here.
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