IMDb TV Streaming Service Rebrands As Amazon Freevee – Deadline

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IMDb TV, Amazon’s free, ad-supported video on demand streaming service, is rebranding to Amazon Freevee, beginning April 27. The rebranding had been in the works for awhile, with the idea for the new moniker to share the Amazon branding of its parent company.

Originally launched as Freedive in January 2019, IMDb TV has grown dramatically, becoming an important pillar in Amazon’s larger push into video advertising.

Over the last two years, IMDb TV has tripled monthly active users, fueled by increased distribution and foray into originals. Following a launch in the UK last September, Freevee will continue its international expansion with a launch in Germany later this year.

Additionally, the plan is for Freevee to grow its originals slate by 70% in 2022, including the spinoff of the longest-running Original series for Prime Video, Bosch: Legacy, premiering May 6; a new home-design series, Hollywood Houselift with Jeff Lewis; Greg Garcia’s comedy series sprung; the australian crime-drama troppo; and High School, a scripted series adapted for television by Clea DuVall, produced by Plan B, and based on the New York Times best-selling memoir by Grammy-nominated, platinum recording artists Tegan and Sara Quin. Amazon’s free streaming service will announce additional greenlights at its NewFronts presentation on May 2.

“Over the past two years, we have seen tremendous growth for our AVOD service and are committed to bringing our audiences premium, free-to-consumer content,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “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.”

Additionally, the free streaming service will add exclusive original movies to its slate, starting with a greenlight order for the workplace rom-com Love Accidently, starring Brenda Song and Aaron O’Connell. In Love Accidently, Alexa (Song) and Jason (O’Connell) are competing for a promotion at their advertising firm when each of their significant others breaks up with them. Thinking she has texted a friend, Alexa mistakenly sends Jason a brokenhearted message. The two spark up an anonymous relationship via text with neither aware of who the other really is. When the truth comes out, will they be able to put their rivalry aside and let true love prevail? Love Accidently also features Denise Richards and Maxwell Caulfield, while Barry Barnholtz, Zelma Kiwi, and Jeffrey Schenck serve as executive producers.

“We have been delighted by the viewer response to our modern television network in a streaming landscape,” said Lauren Anderson and Ryan Pirozzi, co-heads of content and programming for Freevee. “With Freevee, our current and future viewers will discover a home that allows creative talent the freedom to tell impactful, entertaining, and inspiring stories; a service accessible to all and freed from time-slot restrictions and device availability; and a destination that provides customers with both new and familiar, escapist and engaging content—free of charge.”

Amazon said its 2021 advertising revenue topped $31 billion, up 32% from 2020 and positioning the tech giant as a formidable No. 3 taking aim at longtime ad kings Facebook and Google. The key growth drivers include Twitch, a livestream outlet focused on video gamers; Prime Video sports, which will soon encompass weekly NFL telecasts; and IMDb TV.

The rebranding and investment in Freevee comes as AVOD continues to boom. Along with longtime players like Crackle, Pluto, Tubi, Roku Channel and Hulu, newer entrants include Peacock and HBO Max. Disney has also announced plans for an ad-supported version of Disney+.

Last May, in its first presentation during the annual NewFronts, Amazon said viewership of IMDb had jumped 138% over the prior year at that point, outpacing other ad-supported services.

Dade Hayes contributed to this report.