What is Amazon Freevee? Your guide to the cost-free Prime Video alternative
Update: with dedicated apps on the way, just how annoying are those ads?
IMDb TV is dead. Long live Amazon Freevee. Yes, Amazon has quietly changed the name of its free, ad-supported alternative to Prime Video, and with the moniker switch comes a raft of fairly impressive content – including the channel’s first big exclusive new series, Bosch: Legacy.
Amongst the many offerings currently showing on Freevee, the streaming service is also the exclusive home for the crime comedy Sprung and British spy thriller Alex Rider. And, in what will excite fans of Australian soap operas, Freevee recently picked up the rights to Ramsay Street and will be reviving Neighbours for viewers in the UK and US (the series will also stream on Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand and Canada). Neighbours is set to start shooting in 2023, with an airing date pencilled in for the second half of the year.
Here’s everything you need to know about Amazon Freevee.
What is Amazon Freevee and how is it different to Prime Video?
Amazon Freevee is essentially a rebrand of IMDb TV (previously IMDb Freedive, the service Amazon launched in January 2019) – a channel for Prime Video where content is available to watch for free to non-Prime subscribers. While it is technically a different service to Prime Video, it can be watched through the Prime Video app, or its own dedicated app on compatible devices.
Freevee features a broad range of content, including a handful of original series like the aforementioned Bosch: Legacy – a spin-off from one of Prime Video’s best original series Bosch – as well as Almost Paradise and Alex Rider. There is a lot more original content on the way too, including films and reality TV series.
Other content of note at the time of writing includes series like Community, The L Word, The West Wing, Skins, Hell’s Kitchen, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, and films like Punch-Drunk Love, The Road, Mean Streets, Big Fish, Valhalla Rising and Ringu.
How do I watch Amazon Freevee?
You can watch Freevee anywhere you’d be able to watch Prime Video. That means through your web browser, the Prime Video mobile app and the various Prime Video apps for consoles, smart TVs and streaming devices.
Amazon has also released a dedicated Freevee app on Android TV OS devices, and will launch one for Android mobile devices in the next few weeks. Sony, Panasonic, Hisense, Philips and Sharp TVs are all set to receive it, along with Nvidia, Xiaomi and other Android TV OS-powered media streamers. It’s also available as a standalone app on Amazon’s own Fire TV and Fire Tablet devices.
For more information on Prime Video, check out our in-depth explainer article: Amazon Prime Video features, extra channels, price, shows and devices: your complete guide
How much does Amazon Freevee cost?
Absolutely nothing, as the name suggests – but you will have to suffer the occasional commercial break while watching.
Nobody likes having to sit through adverts when they’re watching something riveting, and given Amazon’s love of sucking up money we were fearful that Freevee would be packed full of irritating commercials. Thankfully that’s not really the case, although some items of content fare worse than others – and as yet we’re not really seeing much of a pattern.
For example, when we streamed the first episode of Bosch: Legacy there were no ads at all – just a somewhat obnoxiously large, ever-present channel ident in the lower-right corner of the screen. An episode of enjoyable corrupt cop drama The Shield had no ident, but one ad placed about two-thirds of the way through. The sci-fi movie Gattaca, presented in 4K HDR here, had three ad breaks spread out (not evenly) throughout the film, while classic 1980s horror flick Hellraiser had a single ad (albeit placed right after a particularly gruesome special effects sequence, where viewer attention would likely be fixed to the screen).
It’s going to take a while to judge just how annoying Freevee’s ads are – but given that many of these shows would have been on Prime Video before, we suspect some subscribers might be a bit miffed that they have to contend with ads and idents here.
Is Amazon Freevee any good?
While the selection of shows and movies isn’t as impressive as Prime Videos, for a free service Freevee is well stocked – even if there are only a handful of new and original things here. If you’re not a Prime Video subscriber, or are considering taking a break from your Prime Video subscription, it’s a decent free alternative and the ads aren’t terribly distracting.
As huge fans of Bosch, we’ll certainly be checking out Bosch: Legacy – even if we’re going to be mentally shaking our fist at that ident every time we remember it’s there.