The free IMDb TV streaming service has tripled its movie lineup. With the subscription streaming service concept currently what it is, the big questions as of late tend to revolve around what new services are arriving, and how these will effect licensing issues that keep some of the most popular titles on certain providers.
In fact, one of the biggest evolutions that we’ve seen so far in terms of streaming services is the isolating of content to specific providers. When Netflix first cracked the streaming concept wide open over a decade ago, they amassed content from a wide array of studios and networks. Today, however, fans of say, four different TV programs might find themselves having to subscribe to four different providers just to ensure they can watch everything they want to. This has made the future of streaming look somewhat messy, with some arguing that having to pay for numerous subscriptions entirely defeats the idea of a streaming service in the first place. A variety of streaming services ultimately could be said to be no different than traditional television, in which each network controls its respective content.
As this issue continues to heat up, the idea of free streaming services has been a largely ignored one. Earlier this year, the globally renowned, Amazon-owned IMDb announced that they would be providing a free, ad-based streaming service called Freedive. The service didn’t offer an especially large amount of content, but thanks to Variety, we now know that IMDb has rebranded its free of charge Freedive as IMDb TV and tripled its current selection of content.
This new take on IMDb’s service also offers a decent lineup of content from the likes of Sony, Warner and MGM. Unfortunately, those who live outside the United States won’t be able to take advantage of IMDb TV, though the company does have plans to launch the service in Europe later this year. The amount of new titles is said to number in the thousands, which is a huge leap from what Freedive once offered. The rebranded service will still contain commercials, though Amazon claims that the amount of ads on IMDb TV are half of what traditional network television utilizes. Things will officially kick off on July 1, when Damien Chazelle’s Oscar-winning musical La La Land becomes available, as well as other films such as Drive, Donnie Darko, Monster, and Dances With Wolves. In terms of TV programming, IMDb TV offers the likes of Fringe, Duck Dynasty and The Bachelor, among others.
Though this new, rebranded service is helping to create different options for those who don’t necessarily want to pay for a subscription-based service, there’s still much work to be done. It’s hardly a stretch to suggest that IMDb TV isn’t enticing enough to draw potential customers away from Netflix or the upcoming Disney+. However, even Netflix didn’t kick things off with the substantial library of titles it currently has. And while watching adverts during a film isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea, IMDb TV should be applauded for at least trying to steer things in a different direction at a time when the current streaming service model seems overwhelmingly single-minded.