The news: Amazon has announced it will rebrand its ad-supported streaming service, IMDb TV, to Amazon Freevee to better reflect the platform’s free nature.
- The service was launched three years ago and will reportedly boost its slate of original programming by 70% in 2022.
- While Amazon hasn’t shared official figures on IMDb TV’s active users, it has identified 120 million monthly active users across its ad-supported video content, which includes Twitch and other assets.
Why it matters: Consumers are aware of many Amazon products and services, including Prime, Prime Video, retail locations, Kindle, and even Amazon Web Services. But IMDb TV suffered from lack of consumer awareness. This rebrand hopes to change that and allow Amazon to make inroads into the profitable ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) business.
Zoom out: A multitude of providers are concluding that AVOD is big business.
- Hulu, the leader in AVOD revenue, will make $3.67 billion from advertising this year, per MoffettNathanson analysis. Its average revenue per user (ARPU) is $12.96, well above many of its entirely or partly ad-supported brethren, and just slightly behind subscription-supported Netflix ($14.78).
- YouTube recently added thousands of ad-supported TV shows for free.
- AVOD service Tubi and parent Fox released a report in February speculating that AVOD will close a 5% gap with subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) and surpass it as the preferred streaming option for most consumers.
- Warner Bros. Discovery has said that its streaming service will offer an ad-supported tier, and there’s speculation as to when Netflix and Disney+ could follow suit.
The big takeaway: Amazon doesn’t enter segments to be an also-ran, and IMDb TV was arguably that. The rebrand to Freevee reinforces the service’s value proposition and could give the retail and advertising giant an opportunity to make inroads into Hulu’s lead—but success in this crowded market is far from certain.