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Amazon triples down on free video with ‘IMDb TV’

Amazon triples down on free video with ‘IMDb TV’
[Photo: Daria Nepriakhina/Unsplash]

Five months after launching a free streaming video service under the IMDb brand, Amazon is changing the name and adding a lot more video.

IMDb Freedive is now IMDb TV, Variety reports, and Amazon plans to triple the service’s ad-supported catalog over the next few months. To that end, Amazon has made new deals with MGM, Sony Pictures Entertainment., and Warner Bros. Amazon also plans to expand the service from the United States to Europe later this year. As before, IMDb TV is available as a free channel within the Prime Video app.

Free streaming video services have been booming as studios look for new ways to monetize their back catalogs, and as media companies try to join the cord-cutting era without directly competing against premium services like Netflix. Viacom, for instance, has been pumping classic Nick and MTV content into Pluto TV, which it acquired for $340 million in March, while Roku has been building more of its streaming software around free content from the Roku Channel.

The challenge for Amazon will be to figure out how to balance investment in IMDb TV with its already-popular Prime Video service, which now has more than 100 million U.S. subscribers by one unofficial estimate.

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