Amazon Reportedly Closing Its Free Streaming App [Updated]

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In a move that is set to send ripples through the streaming industry, Amazon is reportedly planning to discontinue its free, ad-supported television service, Freevee, in the coming weeks (see Amazon’s official comment below).

This decision, as detailed by Adweek, is part of Amazon’s broader initiative to streamline its advertising and product efforts, focusing on Prime Video, which recently introduced an ad-supported tier in several countries – including the UK.

As it stands at the moment, Amazon is operating – and promoting – two ad-supported services: Freevee, and the new Prime Video ad-supported tier.

While Freevee is totally free, and Prime Video’s ad tier still costs money (requiring a monthly subscription) – Amazon could potentially introduce a totally free tier on Prime Video, replacing Freevee.

It’s important to stress that there’s been no official confirmation from Amazon that Freevee is indeed on its way out, and in fact, Amazon is saying nothing is changing at the moment.

But Adweek claims to have spoken with several insiders, and – frankly – such a move (now or in the future) won’t be very surprising, following the introduction of adverts into Prime Video.

18:20 Update: An Amazon spokesperson told Cord Busters – “There are no changes to Freevee. Amazon Freevee remains an important streaming offering providing both Prime and non-Prime customers thousands of hit movies, shows, and Originals, all for free.”

Original article follows:

The Rise and Potential Fall of Freevee

Freevee, initially launched as IMDb TV in the US before its rebranding in April 2022, carved out a niche in the UK’s streaming landscape by offering a wide array of content for free, albeit with ad interruptions.

Freevee prime video pc screenshot

The service boasts a diverse selection of TV shows, films, and premium originals, such as the crime drama Bosch: Legacy and the popular Jury Duty.

The platform’s expansion in the UK also saw the addition of content from heavyweight studios like NBCUniversal, MGM, and UKTV, enriching its offering with channels dedicated to genres ranging from comedy to reality TV.

Notably, Freevee is also the exclusive UK home for the reboot of the iconic Australian soap opera Neighbours, marking a significant moment for the service by reviving a beloved series with a dedicated fanbase.

Amazon Freevee_Neighbours_Hero Image

This expansion demonstrated Freevee’s ambition to compete in the crowded streaming market by providing viewers with a wide range of free, ad-supported content.

Unlike Prime Video, Freevee does not require an Amazon Prime subscription.

Therefore, it’s totally free to watch (but it does require an Amazon account), with adverts, and is available via standalone apps on various platforms – as well as on Amazon’s regular Prime Video app.

Prime Video’s New Ad-Supported Tier: A Game Changer

The recent introduction of adverts to Prime Video in the UK (and the US) marked a significant shift in Amazon’s streaming strategy.

For years, Prime Video had been synonymous with an ad-free viewing experience, a key selling point against competitors.

However, the “regular” Prime Video tier now includes adverts – and those who wish to remain ad-free, now have to add £2.99 per month.

Amazon Prime Video ads change mockup

The decision to introduce adverts into Prime Video has been met with mixed reactions from subscribers.

While some may appreciate the lower-cost option (or, more accurately – the fact that the price did not go up for everybody), others lament the interruption of their viewing experience.

The ad model on Prime Video features minimal interruptions for now, with short ad breaks before and during content. However, this has raised questions about the future volume of ads and whether Amazon will increase them over time.

Furthermore, it was discovered last week that the adverts have brought with them another downgrade to Prime Video – which no longer supports Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, unless you upgrade to the ad-free tier.

Is Freevee Going Away?

According to Adweek’s report, Amazon is indeed planning to sunset its free, ad-supported television application, Freevee, in the near future.

The move to phase out Freevee has been informed by several key factors, as outlined by Adweek’s sources who are familiar with Amazon’s strategy.

Freevee app bosch

Firstly, the introduction of advertising on Prime Video has led to a significant overlap between the two services.

With both Freevee and Prime Video offering ad-supported content, Amazon found itself in a position where it was essentially competing against itself.

This redundancy not only confused viewers but also advertisers, who were unsure where to allocate their budgets for maximum impact.

The potential closure of Freevee is seen as a way to streamline Amazon’s streaming services, reducing confusion and focusing on a singular, tiered offering through Prime Video.

Furthermore, promoting two separate ad-supported services is not only costly but also dilutes the effectiveness of Amazon’s advertising strategy.

Amazon Prime Video on tablet with popcorn

Additionally, the integration of Freevee’s content into Prime Video’s free tier could enhance the value proposition of Prime Video, making it a more attractive option for viewers seeking free, ad-supported content.

The exact timeline for Freevee’s closure is still reportedly under discussion, with ongoing factors influencing the final decision. 

However, as mentioned above – Amazon is now saying that there are no plans to change Freevee.

1 thought on “Amazon Reportedly Closing Its Free Streaming App [Updated]”

  1. What do you expect? Every company has become greedy for money and they’ll sponge it out of you wherever thay can. I’m paying for Prime but I still get adverts before prime movies. If they want me to pay more to stop the adverts then they can sing for any future payments from me as I will cancel my subscription. There’s other ways and means of watching content and these greedy companies are pushing people in that direction. I pay for prime, sky TV, Netflix, Disney, paramount, and Apple tv and have done so for years but all that is about to stop because they just keep getting greedy for more. I can get everything I need in one place and at a one off yearly price.


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