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Amazon’s IMDb Launches Free Ad-Supported Movie, TV Service in U.S.

Amazon has extended its tentacles into the ad-supported VOD space — stocking IMDb with a back-catalog of dozens of movies and TV shows that are free to watch.

The Amazon-owned movie database site has launched IMDb Freedive (imdb.com/freedive), a free streaming video channel available in the U.S. An IMDb rep declined to say how many titles are initially available, other than to say there are “hundreds.” The site currently lists a relatively slim lineup of over 130 featured movies and 29 TV shows to stream for free.

TV shows on IMDb Freedive include past seasons of “Fringe,” “Heroes,” “The Bachelor” (seasons 20 and 21), “Gilligan’s Island,” “Duck Dynasty,” “Quantum Leap,” “Born This Way,” “Kitchen Nightmares” and “Without a Trace.” Movies on the service include “Awakenings,” “A Few Good Men,” “Adaptation,” “Drive,” “Foxcatcher,” “Gattaca,” “Memento,” “Run Lola Run,” “The Illusionist,” “The Last Samurai,” “True Romance,” Patty Jenkins’ “Monster,” and Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.”

Titles licensed for Freedive come from studios and networks including CBS, NBCUniversal Television, Sony Pictures Entertainment/Columbia Pictures, Newmarket Films, Warner Bros. Television, A+E Networks and Annapurna Pictures.

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The Freedive service is available on the IMDb website via computers and on all Amazon Fire TV devices. The company said IMDb Freedive will be available soon on mobile devices via the IMDb app.

To date, IMDb has produced short-form original series, such as “The IMDb Show,” “Casting Calls” and “No Small Parts,” as well as trailers and celebrity interviews. Freedive represents a bigger push to monetize video content with full-length movies and hit TV shows.

IMDb Freedive will compete with AVOD offerings including those from Tubi, Pluto TV and Walmart’s Vudu. IMDb believes it can capture share in the market because its has millions of visitors who are actively interested in entertainment. The company said it will be continually adding new titles.

“Customers already rely on IMDb to discover movies and TV shows and decide what to watch,” Col Needham, founder and CEO of IMDb, said in a statement. “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 also taps into Amazon’s X-Ray feature, which lets viewers access information pulled from IMDb about a title’s cast, crew, trivia, soundtracks and more. Starting this week, Fire TV device customers will see a new IMDb Freedive icon in the “Your Apps & Channels” row, or they can use Alexa voice commands — “Alexa, go to Freedive” — to access the content.

Amazon, which acquired IMDb in 1998, claims the site has more than 250 million unique monthly users worldwide.

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