The streaming content market is a pretty crowded one these days. You’ve got your big guys: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+. Then there are the up and comers, just angling for a spot on the top tier: Paramount+, Hulu, Peacock. There are the niche ones, like Shudder and Crackle, and poor little BritBox. But there are also the neat little “free” services (read: ad-supported) out there, one of the most prominent of which has been IMDb TV. The free video on-demand service is owned by Amazon (as most things are) and has decided to suddenly rebrand to a name that will make them stand out in the crowd. Ready for it? IMDb TV is now… Amazon Freevee!
Look, we will just say it straight here: Amazon Freevee is not a good name. Quality is a matter of opinion, to be sure, but Freevee sounds more like an inflatable bathtub toy for toddlers than it does an inviting video service. Apparently, the change is being made to highlight the fact that IMDb TV is a free service (as long as you watch a couple of ads, which really is not all that bad), and to further differentiate it from the Internet Movie Database, which is also owned by Amazon. Reportedly, the future Amazon Freevee will be ramping up its production of original content, which will include a coming of age series titled High School from indie rock duo Tegan & Sara, a sitcom from Greg Garcia, and a spin-off of Amazon’s Titus Welliver series Bosch. They also have a nifty new logo, in the ever-appealing color palette of purple and yellow:
IMDb TV changing its name to Amazon Freevee is not actually the first change for the service. It was originally launched in 2019 as IMDb Freedive, a name that probably seemed to executives like it implied a world to explore rather than connotations of “freefall” and “take a dive.” Regardless of the name, Amazon Freevee is clearly designed to be a slightly more accessible side-service to their primary Amazon Prime Video platform. That service is available via subscription or as part of their Prime program that will one day replace all government and society. It seems like Prime Video will support the higher-end content being created by Amazon Studios, like their upcoming J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and their surprisingly successful Jack Reacher series. In the meantime, Amazon Freevee is out there, helping those of us trying to catch some vintage 1980s episodes of Saturday Night Live.
The name change from IMDb TV to Amazon Freevee is no doubt a minor one, even if we can question the workshopping process that resulted in that particular clumsy portmanteau of a name. Regardless of the names of the services, the streaming wars will continue to rage around us for years to come and we will ultimately have to wait to see who is the victor we will all bow to. For now, let us simply bow our heads in remembrance of Quibi.