Amazon's IMDb TV will soon expand internationally
The free video streaming service could be headed to countries including Mexico and the U.K.
Amazon is looking to expand its free video streaming service, IMDb TV, into additional markets in the coming months, two sources familiar with the company's plans told me. Some of the initial markets targeted by Amazon include Mexico and the U.K., which could function as stepping stones into Latin America and Europe, respectively, according to one source.
An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment.
IMDb TV first launched under the name IMDb Freedive in early 2019. Amazon rebranded the service in May of that year, and at the time also announced that IMDb TV would come to Europe by the end of 2019. That ultimately didn't happen, and IMDb TV remains a U.S.-only service. But according to one of the sources, the company could finally be making the jump to additional territories before the end of this year.
Prime Video, Amazon's ad-free streaming service for Prime subscribers, is available in over 200 countries and territories. The company has long hinted at plans to similarly make IMDb TV available in many more countries. Just last week, it posted a job listing for a "product manager, international expansion." "Our mission is to build earth's most customer-centric ad-supported premium free video service and make it convenient for hundreds of millions of customers to enjoy," the listing reads in part.
Free, ad-supported video services have gained momentum in recent months, especially as economic pressure forces consumers to revisit recurring expenses. Reelgood, a service that helps people find streaming content across a number of platforms, reported this week that ad-supported services had a market share of more than 30% among its users, compared to 25% in Q2.
IMDb TV could also help Amazon gain streaming market share in countries where the company doesn't maintain an ecommerce business yet, including much of Latin America. Amazon has 150 million Prime members around the globe, and is operating locally in 16 markets.
Janko Roettgers (@jank0) is a senior reporter at Protocol, reporting on the shifting power dynamics between tech, media, and entertainment, including the impact of new technologies. Previously, Janko was Variety's first-ever technology writer in San Francisco, where he covered big tech and emerging technologies. He has reported for Gigaom, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, and ORF, among others. He has written three books on consumer cord-cutting and online music and co-edited an anthology on internet subcultures. He lives with his family in Oakland.