Friday, February 23, 2024

Freevee going away?

There have been reports recently that Amazon will be shutting down Freevee. There are a number of reports that say it isn't shutting down.

The source for all the shutdown rumors is an article in AdWeek. The story by quotes three people described as "familiar with the strategy," "familiar with the matter," or "familiar with the situation" saying the service will shut down within the next three months:

Freevee, which Amazon rebranded from IMDb TV in April 2022, has historically functioned as a free, ad-supported alternative to Prime Video, where content largely requires an Amazon Prime subscription for access.

But when Amazon introduced advertising to Prime Video in January, the decision threw the fate of Freevee into question. With both services already sharing certain titles, Amazon is essentially hosting a similar slate of ad-supported programming on two separate apps.

This redundancy, combined with several other factors, compelled Amazon to wind down Freevee, according to three people familiar with the matter. 

The report also includes an update where Amazon denies the shuttering claim.

"There are no changes to Freevee," said an Amazon representative. "Amazon Freevee remains an important streaming offering providing both Prime and non-Prime customers thousands of hit movies, shows, and Originals, all for free."

It would seem to make sense that Amazon won't keep two services, particularly when Freevee content can be accessed within the Prime Video app.

Perhaps it's the app that is being shuttered, not the service. After all, Sling TV's Freestream is simply the free part of Sling TV. There is no Freestream app, just a section of Sling TV that is free, and that's called Freestream. If the free part of Prime Video was bundled together with the Freevee offerings, and called Freevee, the retirement of the app wouldn't really mean a lot.

When Freevee content started showing up in Prime Video, I wondered how long they would keep a separate Freevee app. This isn't to say that I have any inside information. I do see how what is being rumored could be true to a large degree, and how Amazon's statement could also be true.

My Streaming Life has used Freevee some, particularly watching older episodes of Midsomer Murders. I actually use Freevee more than Prime Video, at least in part because it's not easy to find free stuff in Prime Video. And if I drop Amazon Prime service, I still want to watch free videos such as is on Freevee. I don't care if Amazon does away with the Freevee app, as long as I can easily find that content. I don't think Amazon will do a good job of it, however.

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