Amazon, free video streaming comes to Europe by year’s end

Amazon will launch IMDb TV in the coming weeks, a video streaming service that will allow free viewing of movies and videos with ads

Not just Prime Video: Amazon is beefing up its free movie and TV series streaming service Freedive and renaming it IMDb TV. With a much larger catalog and with the same monetization system than Freedive, that is based on ads. IMDb TV will arrive within the year also in Europe.

IMDb TV, as the name suggests, is linked to the IMDb Internet Movie Database site that Amazon bought back in 1998. Thousands of new movies, series and TV shows will arrive on IMDb TV in the coming months, thanks to agreements with the big film and TV majors, such as Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment and MGM. And they will be A-list titles, such as the Oscar-winning musical La La Land starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Films from several years ago, such as 1995's Sense and Sensibility starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet and 2001's The Fate of a Knight starring Heath Ledger, will also be added to the catalog.

How IMDb TV Works

Unlike Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and other streaming services, to watch movies on IMDb TV you don't need a subscription and you don't pay to buy any titles: it's all free, no pay-per-view. In return, the viewer has to watch commercials, as in the old traditional TV, but Amazon assures that the commercials will be about half of those broadcast by US TV stations. On Amazon IMDb TV it will not be possible to download movies and other content, but only to watch them in streaming and, therefore, it will always need a connection.

The competitors of IMDb TV

Technically, this business model is called AVOD: Advertising Video on Demand. There are several services of this type in the United States, the most famous of which are Tubi, Roku Channel, Crackle, Pluto TV (by Viacom) and Vudu (by Walmart). Although AVOD represents the lowest end of the market in streaming services, business volumes are still very high thanks to the advertising shown before, during and after movies. Moreover, the users who are willing to watch advertising in order to access the content for free are far more than those who are willing to pay a subscription to watch movies without ads. That's why Amazon has chosen to embrace this business model as well, alongside the premium subscription services offered by Amazon Prime Video, knowing also that IMDb TV is a gateway to streaming services for many users who, perhaps, one day will decide to subscribe to Prime Video.