Three years after its initial launch, Amazon has changed the name of free, ad-supported streaming service IMDb TV to Amazon Freevee, a move that it hopes will differentiate it from its online movie and TV database, IMDb.com, while attracting cost-conscious consumers who don’t want to pay for Amazon Prime Video.
Freevee is the second name change for the Amazon service since it debuted in 2019 as IMDB Freedive and later that year unveiled a new moniker, IMDb TV. Freevee was scheduled to become the official name of the service on April 27, but it’s been going through its one changes over the past few years. Once mainly a vehicle for Amazon to dump less costly programming that wasn’t found on its subscription service Amazon Prime Video, IMDb TV has been spending more on originals.
Amazon bills Freevee as a "modern TV network," replacing easy-watching experiene of broadcast TV with half the ad load.
Other new programming was expected to be unveiled at Freevee’s NewFront presentation on May 2.
How Can I Get IMDb TV?
To get Amazon Freevee, customers need to establish a free Amazon.com account, and can then access the Freevee app at no charge. The app is available for Fire TV, Roku, Android TV, Google TV, Samsung smart TVs (TV models 2017-2021), LG smart TVs (TV models 2018+), Comcast XFinity X1 and Flex, Microsoft Xbox One and Series X/S, Sony PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, iPhone, iPad, Android mobile devices, Fire Tablets, and on the Amazon website.
Freevee also is paired with Amazon’s Prime Video service, which in turn is tied to the mega online retailer’s Amazon Prime. But unlike Amazon Prime Video, Freevee includes advertising.
Amazon Prime members can also access Freevee content via the Amazon Prime Video app, which intersperses Freevee shows and movies within the Prime Video subscription smorgasbord. Freevee shows are differentiated with a tag that says the show has ads.
How Much Does It Cost?
Indeed, just like the name implies, Freevee is indeed free. It also is one of many free services contained within Amazon Prime, which costs about $139 per year (or $14.95 per month) and offers subscribers free shipping on Amazon purchases. Consumers also can buy a solo Amazon Prime Video subscription (no free shipping or other perks), for $8.99 monthly, that also includes access to Freevee.
What Shows Can I Watch?
When it launched in 2019, IMDb TV was mainly a vehicle for old movies and TV shows like Bewitched and The Beverly Hillbillies, later branching out into originals, with Judy Justice, the latest iteration in the Judge Judy franchise; Alex Rider; and Time Wasters. In the past two years, IMDb TV has beefed up its content lineup, striking several content deals to bring its subscribers popular programming. In 2019 it picked up NBCUniversal’s Chicago Fire and Friday Night Lights and in 2020, a deal with The Walt Disney Co. brought shows like Lost, Malcolm in The Middle, Desperate Housewives, and My So-Called Life to the lineup.
With the name change to Freevee, Amazon said it plans to expand the original content on the service by 70% this year. Its most high-profile original -- Bosch: Legacy -- a spinoff of the Amazon Prime Video stalwart Bosch, is set to debut on May 6. Other new shows include home-design series (Hollywood Houselift with Jeff Lewis); Sprung, a new comedy series from My Name Is Earl, Raising Hope and The Guest Book creator Greg Garcia; and High School, a drama/comedy based on the New York Times bestselling memoir from indie recording artists Tegan and Sara Quin.
Also in the Freevee lineup are movies like Bride Wars, 50 Shades of Grey, A League of Their Own and classic TV shows from the 50’s (Perry Mason), 60’s (Password, Batman, Dragnet and Adam-12); 70’s (Columbo, The Rockford Files and Little House on the Prairie); 80’s (Magnum, P.I., Who’s the Boss? and 90’s (3rd Rock from the Sun, Step By Step and Unsolved Mysteries) and 2000’s (My Name is Earl and Boston Legal) to name just a few. In addition, Freevee has access to past cable hits Mad Men, Lie to Me; Duck Dynasty; and Anthony Bourdain: A Cook’s Tour.
Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.
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