August 27, 2019
A day after bowing mobile apps for its ad-supported video-on-demand service, IMDb TV, Amazon is reportedly in the hunt for original programming earmarked for the platform.
The platform, which is competing against The Roku Channel and Viacom-owned Pluto TV, has begun offering upfront license fees for content instead of previous revenue-sharing agreements. The move is seen as Amazon’s willingness to pay for content, and not just access.
The service made a play for Vice Media’s canceled “Vice Media News” on HBO, according to The Wall Street Journal.
IMDb TV has also begun exploring linear feeds focusing on specific genres such as crime and lifestyle, celebrity, action and dramas.
The push for greater AVOD presence comes as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu face a slew of SVOD competitors, including pending Disney+, Apple TV +, HBO Max from WarnerMedia, a rebooted AT&T Now online TV service and a branded service from Comcast.
“The rapid growth of free, ad-supported video streaming services has taken the industry by surprise, given that there is already so much out there,” Alan Wolk, co-founder of media consulting firm TVRev, told The Journal. “I suspect people watch them as lean-back or background TV, often as something to have on as they’re doing something else.”
Indeed, San Francisco-based Pluto TV, which Viacom acquired this year for $340 million in cash, earlier this month unveiled a new slate of genre and “pop-up” channels rolling out with content licensed from Viacom’s IP library.
The new channels include a lineup of 150+ live, linear, curated channels and thousands of on-demand movies from studios, networks, publishers and digital media companies.