Amazon, through its IMDb brand has now launched a new ad-supported video streaming service called IMDb Freedive.
IMDb Freedive allows users to watch various TV shows and movies for free through the use of ads. The service is now live and can be accessed via the IMDb website. As IMDb is an 'Amazon company' the service has also launched with immediate Fire TV device support.
Those looking to access through a Fire TV device directly will find a new IMDb Freedive icon in the "Your Apps & Channels" section of the interface.
The service currently does not support mobile web browsing although IMDb has confirmed IMDb Freedive is due to be integrated into the main IMDb mobile app soon, at which point it should be accessible on a mobile device, including smartphones.
As this is an ad-supported service and one that offers users free access the selection of movies, it is limited compared to other streaming services. Although it is still fairly substantial for what is is with a varied selection of content available at any given time. Most of the content is slightly older in nature, though the catalog is mostly populated with top-tier Hollywood movies.
Freedive also provides access to a number of IMDb original video series.
The service works in much the same way as typical ad-supported models with users having to sit through a number of ads at varying points throughout the title's running time. The interface is also a little on the basic side with the web version simply consisting of a basic media player. Although it does allow you to change the video quality based on how much data per hour the current title is expected to consume.
It is not a total surprise that IMDb has now launched this serve as it was heavily rumored throughout 2018. By October, for example, even the name of the service had been confirmed, albeit unofficially. So the arrival of Freedive was more of a question of when, rather than if. It had previously been suggested the service would launch in October, although that proved not to be the case.
With Freedive having now gone live, IMDb becomes the latest service to jump on the streaming train. This has become a common occurrence over the last year and in some cases, some companies and brands have been launching multiple different services aimed at different users.
While most services tend to come with a subscription model in tow, Freedive joins the newer batch of services that look to capitalize on gaining users by not outright charging them for access.
YouTube recently starting provide a similar route to content through its YouTube Movies arm with access to select movies for free. Likewise, Roku also launched 'The Roku Channel' in 2018 and this too provides free access to select TV shows and movies.
The Roku Channel recently expanded its availability by offering access to users without the need for a Roku OS-powered device. Highlighting how some brands are looking at this model as solutions that go beyond their more conventional products and services. A similar platform-agnostic approach is likely why Freedive has arrived branded as an IMDb service and not an Amazon service.
Freedive joins Amazon's other streaming-based solutions such as Prime Video which provides access to select TV shows for free (and without ads) to those with an existing Prime membership. While Freedive does not require users to have a Prime membership, it does require the user to have created an IMDb account – which can be set up for free.
Those interested in checking out the service can do so by heading over to www.imdb.com/freedive.