IMDB, the Amazon-owned TV show and movie rating platform, has announced a free streaming TV and movie platform called Freedive. Users can access the service on their smartphones, laptops, and televisions. It is currently only available in the US.
The service doesn’t require an Amazon Prime account or a monthly subscription fee of any kind. Users only need to sign up for a free IMDB account and they are good to go.
Freedive will be similar to Spotify’s free version but without the limitations freemium has, such as the inability to download albums for offline listening, low bitrate (and therefore low quality) song downloads, and the inability to shuffle unlimited songs.
Classic films such as The Last Samurai, Memento, The Illusionist, True Romance, Monster, Awakenings, Foxcatcher, and Run Lola Run are currently available on the streaming platform. Freedive also has the popular reality dating show The Bachelor, and other TV shows like Heroes, Without a Trace, and Fringe.
Freedive has a comprehensive catalog that is grouped by category, similar to Netflix. Some of the categories include drama, comedy, horror, action, and family. For anyone looking for exclusive original programming, you’re in luck – Freedive will also offer original series focusing on the movie and TV industry.
The streaming service market is an extremely cutthroat industry. Most streaming services have cut out a niche for themselves based on the original content they provide. Many users stick to a streaming service based on whether or not it carries their favorite shows. It will be interesting to see how much Freedive is willing to invest in original programming to lure new customers.
With many households taking the new “cordless” approach to watching TV and favoring the convenience that streaming services provide, cable may soon become a thing of the past. This is backed by a recent study that claims Netflix accounted for about 15 percent of the world’s online traffic.
But there’s a lot of competition in the streaming entertainment industry. Other streaming services such as Hulu and Prime Video are looking to get a bigger piece of the pie. Even Disney has announced it will end its relationship with Netflix to start its own streaming service called Disney+. Competition could not be more fierce right now. It will be interesting to see how much of an impact Freedive will have on consumers who have so many choices.
IMDB already has some original content, like exclusive interviews, trailers, and short video series including The IMDb Show, Casting Calls, and No Small Parts. IMDB says it will include this content in Freedive.
The new service will also feature X-Ray, IMDB’s service that gives detailed information about a movie or show’s cast, crew, music, and more. Freedive will be compatible with Amazon Fire TV devices and will be compatible with all services that Amazon Prime Video supports.
Amazon Fire users will be able to access the service via a new icon in the “Your Apps & Channels” section. They will also be able to use voice commands by simply telling their Amazon smart device, “Alexa, go to Freedive.”
Many services have realized the growth potential in free streaming services, but it is a risky market to break into given the countless options we already have. But the ad-based model IMDB plans to employ is less of a risk than subscription based. This model has already been successful for Roku, Tubi, Vudu’s Movies On Us, and YouTube’s Free to Watch selection.
Theoretically, ad companies will be more willing to fund a well-known company such as IMDB. Even though the company won’t be making money via subscription fees, ad companies will make up for the licensing costs of TV shows and movies.
It will be interesting to see how this will service will pan out.