After months of reports and denials from Amazon, IMDb is launching Freedive, a free ad-supported streaming service including TV shows and movies.
At launch, Freedive will be available in the United States on the IMDb website via laptop or personal computer and on all Amazon Fire TV devices.
Freedive will expand upon the short-form original series, trailers and celebrity interviews that IMDb is currently offering. The service will also offer a feature called X-Ray, which gives users information about cast, crew, trivia, soundtracks and more.
“Customers already rely on IMDb to discover movies and TV shows and decide what to watch,” said Col Needham, founder and CEO of IMDb, in a statement. “With the launch of IMDb Freedive, they can now also watch full-length movies and TV shows on IMDb and all Amazon Fire TV devices for free. We will continue to enhance IMDb Freedive based on customer feedback and will soon make it available more widely, including on IMDb’s leading mobile apps.”
IMDb Freedive is available beginning today. Fire TV users will see a new IMDb Freedive icon in the “Your Apps & Channels” row, or they can say “Alexa, go to Freedive” to immediately access the service.
Freedive’s arrival comes as somewhat of a surprise. Although numerous reports suggested that IMDb had an AVOD service in the works, Amazon said it had no plans to offer such a service. That’s according to Dave Fildes, direct of investor relations for the company, who said as much at an investor conference in October.
“We have no plans to build an ad-supported Prime Video offering for free at this time,” Fildes said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.
With the launch of Freedive, IMDb and Amazon jump into a crowded ad-supported streaming service market. Immediate competitors include Roku Channel, Tubi, Pluto and Xumo. In November, AT&T hinted that it potentially plans to launch an AVOD in the future.