As part of its pitch to advertisers this week at the IAB NewFronts, Amazon announced today it has plans to bring over 100 Amazon Original series and movies from Amazon Prime Video to its ad-supported free streaming service Amazon Freevee (previously known as IMDb TV). The titles will be released throughout the year, the company says, noting this marks the first time marketers will be able to advertise against this group of Amazon Originals, and in a traditional ad format.
Before, the only opportunity available to advertise on Amazon Originals on Prime Video was with virtual product placement, announced at last year’s NewFronts presentation. But traditional advertising, like ad break, had not yet been an option for brands within programming on Amazon Originals on Prime Video.
According to Freevee’s announcement, some of the coming titles include popular programs and films like “Reacher,” “The Summer I Turned Pretty” (May 26), “The Wheel of Time,” “Troop Zero,” “A League of Their Own,” “LuLaRich” and “Late Night.” Other Originals will be released each month, offering advertisers access to Freevee’s audience across devices, including Fire TV.
In many cases, the shows will not be offered in full, but will serve to entice viewers to subscribe to Amazon Prime Video.
For instance, in May, Amazon Freevee will release the first three episodes of “A League of Their Own,” “The Terminal List,” “Paper Girls,” “Goliath” and “The Tick.” Other series may be available as full seasons, as with “Homecoming,” “Upload” and the sci–fi mystery “The Vast of Night.” These titles will continue to be available for streaming on Prime Video without ads, Amazon notes.
The titles join other Freevee Originals from Amazon Studios, including “Bosch: Legacy” (whose Season 3 has just been greenlit), court program “Judy Justice” (also greenlit for S3 &4), coming-of-age drama “High School,” “Hollywood Houselift with Jeff Lewis,” comedy series “Sprung,” music documentary “Post Malone: Runaway,” cooking competition “America’s Test Kitchen: The Next Generation,” sports docuseries “Uninterrupted’s Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers,” and others.
Of course, Freevee more recently has become best known for the viral hit “Jury Duty,” which Amazon says has now seen over 200 million TikTok views to date for the hashtag #JuryDutyonFreevee. The show, a pseudo docuseries, films an unsuspecting person who believes he’s being filmed as part of a documentary on America’s justice system, but in reality, everyone he interacts with — from the judge to the jurors to courthouse personnel and more — are actually actors.
Other upcoming Freevee Originals include a new court program “Tribunal Justice” premiering June 9 and the coming-of-age comedy “Primo” on May 19, co-written (and executive produced) by Mike Schur and Shea Serrano, whose stories from childhood are the basis for the semi-autobiographical series.
Later in the day (and after the original publication of this article), Freevee also announced it greenlit a new court series, “Justice on Trial,” featuring Judge Judy Sheindlin, in the third series she’s exec-produced for Freevee. In addition, Freevee greenlit “Mock the Week,” which it described as “a half-hour topical and satirical panel show,” executive produced by Trevor Noah and Dan Patterson. And it announced a reality competition series, “The GOAT,” with stars from shows like “The Bachelor,” “Vanderpump Rules,” “90 Day Fiancé,” “Love is Blind,” and others
In addition to Freevee’s ad-supported streaming video service, which includes thousands of TV shows and movies, of both original and licensed content, Freevee is also offering free ad-supported (FAST) channels. The latter is more like a traditional cable TV experience where you can immediately tune into something that’s livestreaming as soon as you launch the app.
Currently, Freevee includes over 250 FAST channels in the U.S., with thematically programmed channels focused on movies and TV shows, plus exclusive Original channels from Freevee and Prime Video, and syndicated channels with partners like FOX Weather, PickleTV, Vevo and more. Amazon says it will expand its FAST offering by 75% in 2023.
Competitor Roku has been working on expanding its FAST offerings as well, recently announcing a deal with creator company Jellysmack to launch new content on its service. As of March, it reported having over 350 FAST channels on its platform.
As part of its release of Amazon Originals this year, Amazon says the Freevee Originals FAST channel will now be rebranded as Amazon Originals to reflect the larger lineup.
Freevee is available in the U.S., U.K. Germany and Austria.