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Will Amazon Prime Video ditch Freevee?

Is Freevee going away?

Freevee logo.
Amazon

As the streaming landscape continues to evolve and change, one major adjustment has come with the proliferation of ads across various streaming services. Amazon Prime Video was one of the latest services to introduce ads to its movies and TV, telling users that they could upgrade their subscription to avoid them if they wished.

Following that change, AdWeek reported that Amazon’s other streaming service, Freevee, was premised largely on being ad-supported and would be going away because ads are now a feature across the platform. AdWeek reported that the service would likely disappear sometime in the second quarter.

“If the question is whether or not Amazon will persist with two stand-alone streaming services,” one source told the magazine, “I’m certain the answer is no.”

Amazon Prime Video screen.
Amazon

Amazon says Freevee isn’t going anywhere

Although Freevee’s demise might seem logical for the streamer, Amazon itself contradicts reports suggesting that the service is going away.

“There are no changes to Freevee,” a spokesperson said in a statement to Deadline. “Amazon Freevee remains an important streaming offering providing both Prime and non-Prime customers thousands of hit movies, shows, and originals, all for free.”

Freevee began in 2019 as an offshoot of IMDb and was rebranded in 2022 to its current name. The service has long been an ad-supported tier for content on Prime Video that doesn’t require an Amazon Prime subscription to access. Following the rollout of ads to Prime Video shows and movies, though, some sources suggested that Freevee TV and Freevee movies were basically identical to their counterparts on Prime Video.

Given Amazon’s statement, though, it looks like Freevee may survive in spite of its apparent redundancy.

Amazon has been cutting costs in its entertainment sector

Jury Duty - Official Trailer | Prime Video

After huge initial investments in the streaming world, Amazon has more recently announced various moves designed to cut costs across its entertainment sector. They recently implemented a round of layoffs at Amazon Studios and introduced ads in part to ensure that their streaming operations would be profitable.

Amazon has also shuffled shows from Freevee to Prime Video and vice versa in recent months, including the series American Rust: Broken Justice, which started as a Freevee series before moving to Prime Video.

AdWeek reports that Amazon is actively monitoring viewer feedback following the introduction of ads on the platform early in 2024. The company wants to ensure that enough subscribers stick with the ad-supported tier to meet the ad quotas they’ve offered to advertisers and ensure that customers don’t revolt against the move.

So far, those concerns have not materialized. What’s still unclear, however, is how popular Freevee and Prime Video are as separate services. Amazon has never broken out numbers, although they claimed when they rebranded Freevee in 2022 that the service had tripled in popularity since 2020.

Joe Allen
Contributor
Joe Allen is a freelance culture writer based in upstate New York. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The…
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