Amazon Freevee
Freevee logo background purple.svg
Available inEnglish, German
FoundedJanuary 11, 2019; 3 years ago (2019-01-11)
Area servedUnited States
United Kingdom
Germany
ParentAmazon
URLwww.amazon.com/adlp/freevee-about
Current statusActive

Amazon Freevee is an American ad-supported video on demand streaming service owned by Amazon, with original and licensed programming. The service launched in January 2019 as IMDb Freedive, before becoming IMDb TV five months later. It was rebranded to its current name on April 28, 2022.

History

IMDb TV logo
IMDb TV logo

Amazon Freevee launched as a free, ad-supported video channel by the Amazon-owned online database IMDb in January 2019, under the name IMDb Freedive.[1] The video on demand (VOD) service is available in the US and UK on both Amazon and IMDb's websites as well as on all Amazon Fire devices.[2]

On June 17, 2019, IMDb Freedive announced its rebranding to IMDb TV. Signing new deals with Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment and MGM Studios (which parent company Amazon later acquired on March 17, 2022),[3] the streaming service began offering new content.[4] Amazon announced that it would be moving IMDb TV's content team to within Amazon Studios on February 20, 2020, with the goal of developing original programming under new IMDb TV co-heads.[5]

In September 2021, Amazon announced the launch of IMDb TV in the United Kingdom; it was formerly available only in the United States.[6]

On April 13, 2022, it was announced that the service would be rebranded as Amazon Freevee beginning on April 27.[7] It was also announced that it would launch in Germany later that year, and would expand its original programming by 70% in 2022.[8] The rebrand occurred on April 28, 2022. Its first announced moves post-rebrand included renewing Bosch: Legacy pre-premiere as well as Top Class, ordering America's Test Kitchen: The Next Generation and a new series adaptation of Black Beauty and expanding Play-Doh: Squished beyond its holiday special.[9]

On August 3, 2022, Amazon Freevee was launched in Germany.[10]

Content

Original programming

Main article: List of Amazon Freevee original programming

A reboot of the 2008 crime drama series Leverage was ordered by IMDb TV, making it the first major original series for the streaming service.[11]

On October 3, 2019, IMDb TV announced it licensed the Canadian animated series Corner Gas Animated as a branded original series, joining the live-action comedy franchise Corner Gas and the feature film Corner Gas: The Movie, which were both on the streaming platform.[12]

IMDb TV acquired the rights to Eleventh Hour Films and Sony Pictures Television's young-adult espionage series Alex Rider, premiering a series adaptation on November 13, 2020.[13]

On October 29, 2020, Amazon Studios announced it would produce, for the service, the successor program to Judge Judy, entitled Judy Justice and still starring former Manhattan Family Court Judge Judith Sheindlin. Production on Judy Justice began as CBS's long-running Judge Judy ended on July 23, 2021.[14] Judy Justice premiered on IMDb TV on November 1, 2021. With significantly high stakes in the program, Amazon ordered 120 episodes for the first season alone which concluded on April 15, 2022, and served as the largest initial order package for a streaming series. Amazon has bargained on Sheindlin to attract her legions of viewers and fanfare from Judge Judy over to their streaming service for Judy Justice.[15] Towards the end of the first season, Judy Justice was granted a second season after it was hailed as a big hit for Freevee with record viewership hours for the streaming service (viewership results measured by hours watched as opposed to rating numbers as Nielsen ratings does not cover steaming services).[16]

Sheindlin's personal production team will bring another court show to Freevee, entitled Tribunal. The program will feature her longtime Judge Judy program bailiff, Petri Hawkins-Byrd. The series will be presented in the form of a 3-judge panel, like Hot Bench (another production from Sheindlin, only for CBS). Tribunal will be presided over by now former Hot Bench judges, Tanya Acker and Patricia DiMango, along with Sheindlin's son, former district attorney Adam Levy.[16]

On February 22, 2021, it was announced that Norman Lear had set up two projects at IMDb TV, half-hour long comedy Clean Slate and hour long drama Loteria.[17]

On April 13, 2022, it was announced that a spinoff of the Prime Video series Bosch, titled Bosch: Legacy, would premiere on the service on May 6, 2022, and that the coming-of-age series High School, based on the memoir by Tegan and Sara and adapted by Clea DuVall, would premiere in 2022. It was also announced that the service would add original films to its slate, beginning with the romantic comedy Love Accidentally, starring Brenda Song and Aaron O'Connell.[8]

Third-party content

IMDb TV announced it would begin streaming the NBC drama Chicago Fire on December 6, 2019, making the deal the biggest single licensing pact to date for the streaming service. In addition, IMDb TV announced it would also begin streaming all five seasons of Universal Television's Friday Night Lights starting on December 31, 2019.[18]

In February 2020, IMDb TV acquired the rights to more than twenty scripted TV titles controlled by Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International division and began streaming several Star Trek films in June and July 2020. Starting July 15, 2020, IMDb TV began streaming all 92 episodes of the AMC series Mad Men after completing a licensing deal with Lionsgate.[19][20]

In July 2021, Amazon and Universal Pictures reached a multi-year deal to bring Universal's films to IMDb TV. As part of the deal, titles from Universal's library would become available, making films including Fast & Furious 9,[citation needed] Sing 2,[citation needed] and The Invisible Man eligible to stream on IMDb TV for free. Most of the studio's titles will be also available ad-free on Prime Video, including future theatrical releases following their first pay window and four months after being released on Peacock.[21]

On November 3, 2021, IMDb TV UK began streaming content from FilmRise, MovieSphere, MagellanTV and SPI's Docustream, along with program-themed channels based on shows Deadly Women, Are We There Yet?, Bridezillas, Unsolved Mysteries, This Old House, MythBusters, and Hell's Kitchen.[22]

References

  1. ^ "Amazon's IMDb launches a free streaming service, Freedive". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2021-01-09.
  2. ^ Brantner, Chris. "IMDb Freedive: A Look at Amazon's Free Streaming Service". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  3. ^ "Amazon Closes $8.5 Billion Acquisition of MGM". 17 March 2022.
  4. ^ "Amazon Rebrands IMDb Freedive as IMDb TV, Triples Content". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  5. ^ Low, Elaine (2020-02-20). "IMDb TV Moves Content Team to Amazon Studios Under New Co-Heads". Variety. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  6. ^ Middleton, Richard (2021-09-29). "Amazon launches AVOD streamer IMDb TV in UK". TBI Vision. Retrieved 2021-10-06. UK originals are not included on the launch slate but the AVOD streamer has been expanding rapidly, with the aforementioned US commissions joining series including Leverage: Redemption, a Bosch spinoff, the second season of Alex Rider and comedy series Sprung.
  7. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (April 13, 2022). "IMDb TV Rebranded as Amazon Freevee (Yes, Really)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 13, 2022. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  8. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (13 April 2022). "IMDb TV Streaming Service Rebrands As Amazon Freevee, Plans Launch In Germany And 70% More Originals". Deadline. Retrieved 15 April 2022.
  9. ^ White, Peter (May 2, 2022). "Amazon Freevee: 'Bosch: Legacy' Renewed For Season 2, Unscripted Orders, Disney Film Deal & Remake Of British Series 'Inside No. 9' In The Works". Deadline. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
  10. ^ "Das bietet Amazons neuer kostenloser Streamingdienst". Spiegel online (in German). August 3, 2022. Retrieved August 3, 2022.
  11. ^ "Leverage is returning as IMDb's first original series". Critical Hit. 29 April 2020. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  12. ^ "IMDb TV Gets Top-Rated Canadian Animated Series – Media Play News". Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  13. ^ Kanter, Jake (2020-07-14). "'Alex Rider': Amazon Streamer IMDb TV Takes U.S. Rights To Sony Spy Series". Deadline. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  14. ^ Frankel, Daniel (29 October 2020). "Judge Judy Sheindlin Gets New Show on Amazon's IMDb TV". Next TV.
  15. ^ Spangler, Todd (September 9, 2021). "Judge Judy Sheindlin's Courtroom Show on IMDb TV Gets Premiere Date". Variety. United States.
  16. ^ a b Levine, Daniel (April 28, 2022). "'Judge Judy' Bailiff Petri Hawkins-Byrd Lands New Bailiff Job With Another Pair of TV Judges". Popculture News. United States. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  17. ^ White, Peter (February 22, 2021). "Norman Lear Sets Two Projects At IMDb TV Including Laverne Cox & George Wallace Comedy 'Clean Slate'". Deadline Hollywood.
  18. ^ Spangler, Todd (2019-12-06). "Amazon's IMDb TV to Stream 'Chicago Fire' Past Seasons, 'Friday Night Lights' for Free (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2020-07-01). "'Mad Men' Rights Sold To Amazon/IMDb TV Globally, AMC & Starzplay In Complex Licensing Deal Made By Lionsgate". Deadline. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  20. ^ Thorne, Will (2020-07-01). "'Mad Men' Sets Streaming Pact With Amazon, Starzplay and AMC". Variety. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  21. ^ Keck, Catie (2021-07-09). "Universal films will head exclusively to Amazon Prime Video after their run on Peacock". The Verge. Retrieved 2022-03-31.
  22. ^ Clover, Julian (November 3, 2021). "IMDb TV adds 15 channels to UK service". Broadband TV News. Retrieved November 11, 2021.