Mansa Launches FAST Channel of Black Content on Amazon’s Freevee

Mansa, the free, ad-supported streaming platform highlighting Black content, has announced the launch of a FAST channel on Amazon Freevee.

“Reign by Mansa” is a live TV channel offering a curated selection of top films, documentaries, and television series celebrating Black culture.  

“In amplifying Black voices in entertainment, we not only honor diverse perspectives but also enrich the cultural tapestry of our world,” said Mansa co-founder David Oyelowo. “We’re thrilled to launch on Amazon Freevee and expand our reach and ability to showcase the best in Black culture to an even wider audience.” 

Founded by award-winning filmmakers and actors Oyelowo, Nate Parker, and Chiké Okonkwo, as well as tech entrepreneur and film financier Zak Tanjeloff, the Mansa platform showcases Black culture from across the globe through on-demand film, TV, short-form content and a collection of 24/7 digital linear channels. 

Since launching a year ago, Mansa has amassed a library of thousands of hours of content and is accessible on a growing list of distribution partners.

To date, Mansa has raised $9 million in seed round financing, with funding led by MaC Venture Capital with participation Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo, Galaxy Investment Partners, Base Ventures, Rainmaker Films, Black Capital VC, K Period Media, and Robert F. Smith.

Amazon Denies Reports It Plans to Shutter Ad-Supported Freevee Streaming Platform

Amazon says it has no plans to shutter its Freevee ad-supported streaming television platform, which launched in 2019 as IMDb TV before rebranding as Freevee in 2022 affording viewers free access to original and catalog content.

Media reports had suggested Amazon was ending the platform after it initiated ad-supported content on the Prime Video service last month.

“There are no changes to Freevee. [It] remains an important streaming offering providing both Prime and non-Prime customers thousands of hit movies, shows, and Originals,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an email statement.

Earlier this month, Freevee, which offers 400 free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels, added a TMZ FAST channel as well as 17 new local news FAST channels from Fox, with live and breaking news for respective cities and the surrounding area.

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Freevee scored a critical hit a year ago with the sitcom “Jury Duty,” which found an unsuspecting civilian reporting to what he thought was actual jury duty, but instead was a fictional court filled with character actors, including James Marsden.

Amazon MGM Studios, Tastemade in First-Look Deal to Produce Lifestyle Content

Amazon MGM Studios and Tastemade Jan. 17 announced a first-look deal to produce unscripted lifestyle content.

As part of the partnership, Amazon MGM Studios and Tastemade plan to bring 15 new shows to Prime Video and Amazon Freevee audiences over the next few years.

“Dish It Out” will be the first unscripted series on the roster, hosted by TV personality, chef, and social media content creator Matilda “Tilly” Ramsay — the daughter of multi-Michelin-star chef Gordon Ramsay. In each episode, Tilly Ramsay will receive a mystery box of goods from various chefs and home cooks around the world, piecing together the items in each box to create a globally inspired dish. The series has received a 32-episode order and production will begin in 2024 in Tastemade’s London studios.

“We are so pleased to partner with Tastemade’s award-winning team to bring Tilly Ramsay’s fresh and fun approach to cooking to our Amazon customers,” Lauren Anderson, head of AVOD, unscripted, and targeted programming, Amazon MGM Studios, said in a statement. “Tilly’s charm, exuberance, and ability to create memorable food experiences has already delighted her millions of followers, and we look forward to introducing her to a new audience of food, cooking, and lifestyle enthusiasts.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with a powerhouse like Amazon MGM Studios, enabling Tastemade to share compelling stories with their audience,” Larry Fitzgibbon, co-founder and CEO, Tastemade, said in a statement. “We are uniquely positioned to create premium lifestyle programming that inspires people to take real action, and Amazon is the perfect platform to bring that to life.”

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All content will be produced by Tastemade Studios, helmed by Taye Shuayb, global head of studios and content development. Content will range from cooking competitions to travel shows and will be hosted by notable talent across the food and entertainment space. Amazon Freevee also offers a number of Tastemade free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) Channels, including “Tastemade,” “Tastemade Travel,” “Tastemade Home,” and “Tastemade en Español” on the free streaming service.

‘God. Family. Football’ Series Debuts on Freevee Sept. 1

The series “God. Family. Football” will Debut on Freevee Sept. 1.

Freevee is an ad-supported video-on-demand service owned by Amazon.

In the show, after going 0-9 in 2020 and not winning a game for the first time in history, head coach and Pastor Denny Duron is looking to bring the glory back to the Evangel Christian Academy football program.

Freevee Adds New FAST Channels Featuring MGM, Warner Bros. Discovery Content

Amazon Freevee June 12 announced MGM and Warner Bros. Discovery free ad-supported (FAST) channels will launch on the ad-supported streaming service over the next few months.

The new channels will add to the growing slate of more than 280 FAST channels currently available on the Amazon-owned service (formerly IMDb TV), spanning genres that include originals, movies, food, game shows, classic TV, reality, news, and sports. All channels can be accessed through the Freevee app, as well as within Fire TV and Prime Video.

“MGM and Warner Bros. Discovery create content that appeals to a diverse fan base — action, comedy, drama, scripted, unscripted, and more,” Ryan Pirozzi, head of Amazon Freevee, said in a statement.

MGM will launch 12 FAST Channels, adding a new lineup of single-title channels which will include “The Pink Panther,” “Stargate,” “Green Acres,” and “The Outer Limits,”alongside branded channels such as “MGM Presents,” “MGM Presents: Action,” and “MGM Presents: Sci-Fi,” which will be programmed with movies and series including Capote and Red Dawn. The MGM FAST channels join “Paternity Court,” “In the Heat of the Night,” “The Addams Family,” and “Teen Wolf” channels.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s 11 FAST Channels feature Discovery and WBD studio content, such as “Cake Boss,” “Extreme Couponing,” “Ghost Brothers,” “Paranormal Lockdown,” “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Long Lost Family.”

WBD’s FAST channels come as the media giant attempts to monetize its catalog of original TV programming across third-party platforms, including ad-supported VOD and FAST.

As a result, Freevee has been able to expand the FAST offering to include a growing selection of exclusive thematically programmed channels, such as popular movies and TV shows, comedy hits, as well as exclusive Original channels from Freevee and Prime Video (“Amazon Originals,” “Judy Justice,” “Bosch”), and syndicated channels with partners, including news (“The Washington Post,” “LiveNOW by FOX,” “ABC News Live”), sports (“NHL FAST,” “MLB,” “PGA Tour”) and music (“Vevo,” “XITE”).

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Freevee also recently secured 10 channels from Lionsgate for the free streaming service. Nine channels are available now including “Nashville,” “Are We There Yet?,” “Anger Management” and “HerSphere,” with “Ghost Hunters” launching in the coming weeks. Additional FAST Channels coming to the service in June include “Amazon Movies,” “Judge & Jury,” “QVC,” “HSN,” “Tastemade en Español,” “The Big Dish,” “USA Today” and “USA Today Sports.”

Tastemade Launches Home Streaming Channel, Hires Evan Bregman as GM of Streaming

Tastemade Oct. 20 announced the launch of Tastemade Home, a new 24/7 channel designed for homeowners and renters. The channel joins Tastemade’s existing branded streaming video channels, including Tastemade Travel and Tastemade en Español.

Paired with Tastemade’s existing programming in the food and travel spaces, Tastemade Home will continue to deepen the company’s roots in the lifestyle streaming space premiering 27 global shows (more than 200 hours of content) in 2022 alone, and currently reaching more than 150 million households in more 60 countries.

Tastemade Home features original series include “Beyond the Block,” a home buying show in partnership with Realtor.com. The series features first-time homebuyers and focuses on the neighborhoods and the people in them, and it is currently in its third season with host Andrew Tyree. New series will include, “Weekend Refresh,” hosted by Tia Mowry, based on Tastemade’s successful social series, which highlights home improvement makeovers in just 48 hours.

In addition, Tastemade has brought on digital media executive, Evan Bregman, to serve as GM of Streaming. Bregman will report to Tastemade’s co-founder/CEO, Larry Fitzgibbon, and will oversee and drive the viewership and growth of the company’s streaming business.

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Prior to joining Tastemade, Bregman was VP, head of business operations at Rooster Teeth, the original gaming lifestyle brand where he oversaw the strategic operation of Rooster Teeth’s direct-to-consumer business.

Additional new and upcoming shows on Tastemade include:

  • “Dream Home Makeovers” featuring U.K. interior designer Sophie Robinson as she pushes brave homeowners just beyond their comfort zones to create eye-popping interiors that are cozy to live in and amazing to look at.
  • “The Great Garden Revolution” showcases a team of expert designers and gardeners transforming outdoor spaces while supplying ideas that viewers can use to makeover gardens of any size or shape.
  • “Gok’s Fill Your House for Free” shows how to take homes from shabby to chic on a thrifty budget. Gok Wan turns his attention from clothes to house interiors as he meets families who are desperate to give their homes a makeover but have little money to spend.
  • “The Home Team” joins Anthony Scott and Leah McLeod in their workshop as they help out homeowners with their renovations by making homemade solar lights, hardwood benches, vertical gardens, and more.

AVOD Service IMDb TV Rebranding to ‘Amazon Freevee’

IMDb TV, Amazon’s ad-supported VOD platform, is set to change its name to “Amazon Freevee” beginning April 27. The service, along with competitors Paramount Global’s Pluto TV, Crackle, Fox Entertainment’s Tubi and The Roku Channel, represents a growing niche of non-subscription streaming services growing in popularity in the U.S.

Nielsen reported last year that about 34% of U.S. households with streaming services used ad-supported platforms.

Amazon, which acquired the Internet Movie Database in 1998, changed IMDb TV’s name to “IMDb Freedive” in 2019. Growing popularity for AVOD and free ad-supported streaming TV, including launches of original programming, prompted the latest change.

“Over the past two years, we have seen tremendous growth for our AVOD service and are committed to bringing our audiences premium, free-to-consumer content,” Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to building on this momentum with an increasing slate of inventive and broadly appealing originals and are excited to establish Freevee as the premier AVOD service with content audiences crave.”

Amazon also operates the longstanding Prime Video subscription streaming service, which is available as a standalone product for $9 monthly, or part of the $19.99 monthly Prime membership.

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