HomeDigital TrendsIMDb TV to FreeVee: A New Chapter for Amazon's Free Streaming Service

IMDb TV to FreeVee: A New Chapter for Amazon’s Free Streaming Service

Photo Credit: Amazon Prime Video

Amazon’s lesser-known streaming service, IMDb TV, is changing its name to Freevee. If you haven’t heard of IMDb TV, you aren’t the only one. Since January 11, 2019, Amazon has operated two streaming services: Prime Video and IMDb TV. The former is known for its original programming and giving its subscribers free two-day shipping on Amazon products; the latter is best known for stealing Judge Judy from CBS and rechristening the show as Judy Justice. While Prime Video requires users to fork over around 140 dollars a year, IMDb TV is a free ad-supported streaming service. 

Not only does IMDb TV get overshadowed by its older sibling because Amazon pours more money into Prime Video, but it’s also not entirely separate from Prime Video. Those with a Prime Video account, which is practically anyone who has ever used Amazon, will have an IMDb TV subscription despite never having set up an account. On streaming devices like a Roku, Prime Video subscribers can choose IMDb TV programs directly from the Prime Video app. If you pay attention, you’ll notice that you can watch IMDb TV content as “free with ads.” However, you paid for Prime Video and would have no reason to believe that there is content that you can only stream with commercials in the same app. After all, it’s bad enough that Amazon Prime will serve you results that require an additional subscription to Acorn, Showtime, or other third-party streaming service in an attempt to induce you into forking over more money each month. 

With that said, Amazon’s handling of IMDb TV is bad. The streaming service itself is perfectly serviceable, but a silly name change isn’t going to save it. Unlike many free streaming services, IMDb TV inserts commercials into a show where commercials would have been when it first aired, which means it’s not as egregious as streaming service that will insert commercials mid-sentence. You can watch Night Court, Leverage, Chicago Fire, Fringe, and Murder, She Wrote alongside IMDb TV originals like Leverage: Redemption, Moment of Truth, and Judy Justice. To bring more attention to IMDb TV, Bosch: Legacy is moving from Amazon Prime to IMDb TV around the time that the streaming service rebrands as Freevee. 

By having two different streaming services, Amazon is trying to target two different audiences. What Amazon doesn’t realize is that Prime Video and the future Freevee share an audience due to the fact that they are virtually indistinguishable to those not paying close attention. This isn’t surprising because the two services often swap the kind of programming, much of which can be found on digital subchannels like Antenna TV and MeTV, that you put on when your grandparents visit. 

Until IMDb TV – now Freevee – can escape the shadow of Prime Video, it will continue to be grouped with the lower tier of commercial-supported streaming services that consists of Pluto TV, Roku Channel, Tubi, Crackle, Xumo, and Fawsome. Amazon should probably give up on keeping IMDb TV/Freevee as its own service and incorporate it into Prime Video in a way similar to Peacock’s free tier. 

Allison Lips
Allison Lips
Anglophile, Rockabilly, Pompadour lover, TV and Music Critic


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