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Amazon Wants Exclusive Programming, Linear Channels for Free Streaming Service IMDb TV

Jason Gurwin

In January, Amazon launched their free streaming service called IMDb Freedive, which has since been renamed IMDb TV, which is similar to The Roku Channel and Tubi. Since launch, Amazon has tripled their range of content with deals with Paramount, Lionsgate, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, and MGM. The service is now available on Fire TV devices, as well as the Prime Video & IMDb Apps on iOS and Android.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the company is exploring way to get more exclusive content for the service — including exploring bringing Vice News Tonight, which was just cancelled by HBO, to the service. IMDb TV already has some shows on an exclusive basis like The Middle (Patricia Heaton, Neil Flynn). Amazon has also commissioned an exclusive scripted series from IMBb TV starring Kelsey Grammar called You’re Not a Monster.

The company also appearing to be exploring creating linear feeds like Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, and Sinclair-owned STIRR, says WSJ. Pluto TV, which was acquired by Viacom in January and has nearly 200 linear channels recently added feeds will classic shows from the parent’s networks including Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon.

While IMDb TV hasn’t released user numbers, they are definitely playing catch up. Tubi announced that they had reached 20 million monthly actives in May, while Pluto TV reached 18 Million monthly actives in August. The Roku Channel has been a key driver of revenue growth on the Roku platform, who now sees 30 million active users. A smaller competitor, Xumo surpassed 5.5 million monthly actives in April. STIRR, which was launched by Sinclair earlier this year, just announced they had reached 1 million downloads.

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