Roku Extends Deal to Support Amazon Prime Video, IMDb TV

(Image credit: IMDb TV)

Roku said Monday that it has reached a multiyear extension to continue support of the Amazon Prime Video and IMDb TV (now Amazon Freevee) apps. 

Neither Roku or Amazon announced terms of the deal. Roku stock surged around 7% as of early afternoon trading on the Nasdaq. 

Also read: Roku Gets Boost From Analyst, Says Int'l Growth Is Still in 'Early Innings' ... but Stock Keeps a Fallin'

The Information reported back in November that Roku's agreement to support Amazon's fast-growing ad-supported video-on-demand platform, IMDb TV, was set to expire at the end of 2021. 

Even though Amazon markets separate apps for its Amazon Prime Video SVOD service and IMDb TV, the latter is now an inextricable part of Amazon's broader streaming offering, with the online retail giant mixing free, ad-supported IMDb TV tiles with its Prime Video subscription and rental-sale wares in one big Amazon Prime Video interface. 

Did this mean that loss of IMDb TV would take down all of Amazon for Roku's 60.1 million active accounts? 

Making the issue even more unclear: Just a few days after The Information report, Scott Rosenberg, Roku's outgoing platform business chief, insisted there were no negotiations happening at the time between Roku and Amazon, and none needed. 

"Despite what you may have read, our Amazon agreement is not up for renewal or in negotiations at this time," Rosenberg said during Roku's Q3 earnings. 

Regardless, the news further impacted Roku's cratering Wall Street fortunes, which were, at the time, already affected by an ongoing distribution tiff with Google over the YouTube and YouTube TV apps. Roku reached a deal with Google in December that ironed out that kerfuffle. ■

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!