Amazon and IMDb has now rebranded the Freedive streaming service as IMDb TV.
Previously labeled as IMDb Freedive, this marks a fairly quick attempt at rebranding considering Amazon only launched the IMDb-based streaming service in January of this year.
The rebrand has already taken effect and therefore users of the service will be exposed to the IMDb TV branding the next time they access the service.
Amazon or IMDb did not provide any firm details on the name-change although it stands to reason “TV” is likely to be a much clearer proposition to consumers compared to “Freedive.”
As part of the same announcement, Amazon and IMDb also confirmed the service is already looking to ramp up its catalog with the suggestion IMDb TV “will triple its content selection” in the coming months.
One likely reason behind the expansion is the agreed new deals that were also confirmed in the latest announcement with a number of major studios, including Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment and MGM Studios.
The big selling point with IMDbTV is the fact that it is a free streaming service. Consumers do not have to pay anything to access the catalog of TV shows and movies as the service is completely reliant on an ad-supported model.
Amazon is not the only one, or even the first one to embark on a free approach like this as this segment of the market has been growing massively and there are now a number of similar services that offer access to TV shows and movies for free. Although, those other services do not typically come with the level of backing that the Amazon and IMDb ecosystems offer.
Besides the various dedicated ‘free TV services’ that are available, one competitor to IMDb TV that has been gaining traction of late is The Roku Channel. This originally launched as a free content access point on Roku devices and TVs powered by Roku OS, although since then it has spread its wings and is now available to consumers regardless of whether they own a Roku device or not.
One of the downsides of the IMDb solution is that it is not quite as accessible as some of the others. For example, there is no dedicated Android or Android TV app for IMDb TV and even the standard IMDb app available from the Google Play Store does not currently support IMDb TV.
Instead, users are expected to primarily access the free service either directly through the IMDb website (although not via a mobile browser), through Amazon’s Prime Video ecosystem or the company’s Fire TV platform.
Today’s announcement did not suggest there would be an expansion to the ways in which Android users can access the streaming service, although there was the confirmation that the service is being readied for launch in Europe.
Again, Amazon and IMDb did not explicitly state when the service will go live in Europe but did say it will happen “later this year” - at which point European users will also be offered free access to a “premium collection of movies and TV shows.”