Amazon continues to enhance its IMDb TV offering in a
push to outgrow competitive ad-supported streaming services including The Roku Channel and Viacom’s Pluto TV.
This week, Amazon expanded IMDb TV’s distribution by launching mobile apps for Android and iOS.
The on-demand streaming service is also accessible through the Amazon Prime Video app, browsers on PCs, and (through the IMDb TV channel) Amazon Fire TV devices.
Amazon is now also aggressively seeking licensing-based exclusive content deals, according to The Wall Street Journal. Amazon previously focused on offering ad revenue-sharing arrangements to secure content, but is now offering to pay upfront licensing fees — which are attractive to producers because they guarantee fixed payments — and hybrid fee-based and revenue-sharing deals, WSJ’s sources report.
Further, Amazon is exploring creating linear, “always-on” channels within IMDb TV that “could be focused on genres such as crime and lifestyle, or dedicated to specific outside media outlets,” said the sources. Amazon is talking with studios, TV programmers and other content producers “about stocking channels with content or supplying entire channels of their own.”
Roku and Pluto TV already offer these kinds of channels.
IMDb TV’s first original, scripted, short-form series, “You’re Not a Monster,” is set to debut this fall.
IMDb TV, called IMDb Freedive when it launched as a free app in January, is part of Amazon’s advertising division rather than the Prime Video division, according to the sources.
Amazon hasn’t revealed IMDb TV’s viewership, but claimed in June that it’s one of the top ad-supported apps on Fire TV, which now has more than 34 million users worldwide.
Also in June, Amazon declared that it was tripling its content offerings — including adding box-office hits like “La La Land” —through new deals with studios including Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment and MGM Studios.
In addition, Amazon announced that it will expand IMDb TV’s reach beyond the U.S., to Europe, later this year, although it has yet to offer any specifics.