Amazon’s ambitions in streaming video could take a big step forward as the company readies a new, ad-supported TV service will launch as early as this week, reports CNBC.
In August, word began to leak out about Amazon’s new TV service, which would be separate from its Amazon Prime Video and operate under Amazon’s IMDB subsidiary. The service, which could be called Free Dive, would be available to the 48 million people who own Amazon Fire TV devices, including HDMI dongles made by Amazon or its Alexa-powered Fire Cubes.
Instead of offering programming form Amazon Studios or its Prime Video licensing partners, the IMDB TV channel would feature content like older TV shows. That would make it a competitor to Hulu as well as the Roku Channel, operated by digital-TV platform Roku, which features reruns like Lost in Space as well as old movies like Bad Boys and Ghostbusters.
The service could offer Amazon a new platform for its growing advertising business. According to CNBC, the ads will run between programs or wrap around an embedded video player, as IMDB currently features on movie trailers. Amazon may also allow marketers to have access to proprietary user data to improve ad targeting.
Amazon already receives ad revenue from the video ads that IMDB runs between trailers, as well as from ads on its e-commerce store and on its popular Twitch gaming site. According to research firm eMarketer, Amazon has quietly become the third-largest online ad platform behind Google and Facebook. Advertisers will spend an estimated $4.6 billion on Amazon ads this year, eMarketer said, up 145% from 2017.