The Internet Movie Database, an Amazon subsidiary, waded into the increasingly crowded video streaming market on Thursday with the launch of the ad-supported service, Freedive.
In order to watch videos on Freedive users need an IMDb account and a tolerance for watching ads at various intervals during a video. While no paid subscription is required, the service has an impressive roster of hit Hollywood movies and popular TV shows, including noteworthy genre titles like the shows Fringe and Heroes as well as the films Memento and Gattaca.
According to The Wrap, Freedive will enhance the viewing experience with its "X-Ray" feature, which takes advantage of IMDb's massive amount of movie data to provide information on the content being watched, such as cast, crew and other trivia. Amazon Prime Video users have already been able to access this feature on that service for several years.
In addition, the service features IMDb's original video series, such as The IMDb Show and Casting Call.
Freedive is available to anyone in the United States through a web browser on a laptop or desktop computer. The platform is also available on all Amazon Fire TV devices. The service is hoping to expand beyond the USA soon.
In a press release, Col Needham, IMDb's founder and CEO, said, "Customers already rely on IMDb to discover movies and TV shows and decide what to watch. With the launch of IMDb Freedive, they can now also watch full-length movies and TV shows on IMDb and all Amazon Fire TV devices for free. We will continue to enhance IMDb Freedive based on customer feedback and will soon make it available more widely, including on IMDb’s leading mobile apps."
Ad-supported video streaming services are popular, with 73% of adults who watch streaming video watching ad-supported platforms. Freedive joins a large field that includes YouTube, Vudu and the Roku Channel.