IMDb Freedive is Amazon’s new free ad-supported Movie and TV streaming service

Amazon has launched their long-rumored free ad-supported streaming video service in the US. Using the Amazon-owned Internet Movie Database for branding, the service is called IMDb Freedive and it’s available on most devices that can already stream Prime Video. On Amazon Fire TV devices, you should see a new Freedive icon at the front of your “Apps & Channels” row on the home screen. If not, you can launch the free service by saying “Alexa, go to Freedive” into your voice remote, paired Echo device, or hands-free Fire TV Cube.

IMDb Freedive currently offers just over 400 movies and about 150 TV show seasons to watch for free with ads. With popular movies like Memento, The Last Samurai, The Illusionist, Drive, Big Fish, and many more included, the common opinion seems to be that Freedive’s free catalog is generally better than rival free services like Tubi and The Roku Channel.

The free movies and TV shows are not streamed through an IMDb Freedive app. Instead, they are streamed through Prime Video apps on all supported platforms as a Prime Video Channel, although you do not need to be a Prime member to access the free content. On the main Fire TV interface, content will be marked as “Watch on Freedive Free with Ads” when it is included in the service. You can scroll through various Freedive categories of content by bringing up the dedicated channel page on Fire TV devices. This can be done from the “Your Apps & Channels” row or by scrolling down the home screen until you reach the “Prime Video Channels” row and scrolling right until you find Freedive among the list of channels.

While streaming the ad-supported free content on a Fire TV device, the commercial blocks will be marked with white strips on the video’s timeline bar. The number of ad blocks and the number of ads in each block seem to vary from content to content. The movie Drive, for example, had 5 ad blocks, which seems to be the most common number of ad blocks per video. The first episode of the TV show Heroes had 5 ad blocks as well, but the movie Gattaca had 12 ad blocks, which seems quite excessive.

As you’d expect, you cannot fast forward through ads once they begin. If you fast forward past an ad before it begins, the ad will still play when you stop fast forwarding. If you fast forward past multiple ad blocks at once, only the last ad block that you skipped will play when you stop fast forwarding. Similar to how traditional linear television ads are played, the content you’re watching fades into the ad and there is no indication of how long the ad is or how many ads there will be in that particular ad block. All content starts with a 5-second semi-ad welcoming you to the Freedive service. In the future, it
s easy to see these intros replaced with pre-roll ads that play before a video starts, but there doesn’t seem to be any actual pre-roll ads at the moment.

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64 comments
  1. Masterblaster says:

    The one that bugs me the most about “free” streaming services is the low quality repetitive ads that never die.
    I have turned off a show/movie by some of these ads.
    I guess you get what you pay for???

    • Kurt Schultz says:

      I agree! I constantly see the same ads over and over again, even through the entire block and show. I now refuse to use certain businesses just because I’ve seen the ad literally hundreds of times in short periods of time.

      • Tony Ramirez says:

        Agree Geico stupid ad.

        No I don’t drive or have a drivers license I don’t care about car insurance and Geico is a major ripoff. My mother and uncle have it and yet when they have to get car repairs they have to pay much out of pocket so there are no saving.

  2. Fire Stick Sneak says:

    Well, you can’t circumvent the ads but you can make them invisible and quiet. You still have that time in a black screen and spinning wheel. It at least you don’t have to see or hear them.

  3. Michael House says:

    I see Amazon has purposely made this “freedive” app uncompatible with 1st generation Fire Tv’s.

    • Axecaster says:

      Seems to work on my original fire tv box on pre-rooted 5.2.6.6

    • RowMan says:

      It’s not an app on Fire TV. It’s just a shortcut to the Freedive content. Like the Prime Video icon is just a shortcut to the “Included With Prime” section. Works fine for me on my first gen stick.

    • Robjg says:

      I find I just get a black screen when I try and launch this on my Gen One FTV. No idea how to fix it.

  4. Michael House says:

    Amazon is also Charging for some movies like “Short Ciruit” that are free under the “Freedive” app.

  5. OG Charlie says:

    Get weird error codes and playback issues on the 2nd gen Fire TV

    • tech3475 says:

      Is your device rooted? What firmware are you on?

      • OG Charlie says:

        Not rooted and on the latest firmware.

        Had a complete hard lock with the error “DATA_CONNECTION_UNAVAILABLE” when I first tried it, running out of storage error during playback and one error that just told me the device needed to be rebooted when I tried to play something.

        Also have an issue with the video briefly freezing while the audio continues to play for about 5 seconds. That one’s happened mulitple times.

  6. pmcd says:

    This is a terrible precedent. Ads have ruined live TV. If Freedive is a huge success, as I suspect it will be, it will be the model for future streaming services. People view ad supported services as free. There doesn’t seem to be any easy way of curtailing them.

    • Tony Ramirez says:

      Agree. I refuse to use this service mad I can’t hide the useless app shortcut. I am just worried that they will start to take things off of Prime and move them to this ad ridden “free” version.

      But its okay as Amazon will still bug me to watch that MA rated filth original The horrible Mrs. Maisel.

    • OG Charlie says:

      It’s already a model. Hulu, Filmrise, Tubi, Pluto, Twitch, The Roku Channel, etc, etc.

      • pmcd says:

        True, although Hulu has an ad-free subscription for a higher cost. Ads are a bit like a very addictive drug. Once they start there’s no turning back. And the few ads start turning into slightly more until programs are designed to fit the ads. In addition, you’ve even got ads within programs.

        Ads, in my opinion, are the ruin of entertainment, including sports. We live in a world being constantly bombarded by what is really brainwashing disguised as information.

        As far as Amazon goes one can only hope that this will fail. If not, you will see Prime shows sneaking off to the land of ads. Amazon has been toying with ads since they started with discounted Kindles provided you agreed to ads. Is it not enough that their whole product line is little more than an ad for Amazon services?

        • Jim says:

          Same goes for free games. In-app purchases. No option to buy the game because it is a vessel to push advertising to ones brain. Assimilation.

        • Tony Ramirez says:

          Agree I avoid all ad supported media like the plague. I either pay for the service or stop using it.

          It all starts out the same a few ads here and there and then 5 minutes of ads the same ones over and over again per break.

  7. Stephano says:

    I hope this doesn’t mean that the amount of PRIME content will be reduced!
    Amazon will certainly make a ton of $$ with ads so I hope they dont get gready.

  8. Nick says:

    cool app/service. i’m gonna keep it – but kinda not okay with the auto install of it. it’s my device. amazon shouldn’t have the power to just install and app on it at will.

    • Gary says:

      I’ll venture a guess that their terms of service that you agreed to when you setup the stick says they can add and remove whatever they want from your device at any time.

    • ben says:

      its cause its played thru prime video. thats why it cant be removed its actually not a app

  9. Paul T says:

    My primary concern with this service is that content previously available adfree under Prime Video could be monetized with ads.

    Was any of the FreeDive content included in Prime Video before? If so, is it still there or was it removed to add commercials?

    • James Anderson says:

      Actually Amazon took the series Fringe from a pay series on Prime to Freedive as an ad supported series.

      • Paul T says:

        That was just yesterday, when they launched?

        There’s my worst fears realized. Sigh.

        • ben says:

          no it wasnt prime. he was saying you had to pay for Fringe it was in prime video but not free with prime but now free with ads

          • Paul T says:

            Ahh a PAID series on Prime. I missed that very important point.

            Well, that’s perfectly fine.

          • D Fischer says:

            Fringe used to be included on Prime Video until about a little more than a year ago when it was dropped it was no longer available with any streaming service (excluding rental and purchase).

            Ad supported is a business model used by some film and television license acquisition and distribution firms (like Filmrise). Hulu has it’s lower tier ad supported but also includes original content in a blended business model.

  10. ben says:

    actually not too bad with the ads. i only had 3 in each section

  11. Charlie says:

    Are all the offerings not found in Prime Video already for members?

  12. Mark B says:

    I don’t want this garbage. This is completely Forced and btw you can’t remove it. No other app has been forced on us like this and it really is not cool.

    I thought maybe I’d try it. Turned on Foxcatcher and there was going to be 16 Ad breaks! 16! That”s insane.

    Amazon is also now Forcing auto Vjdeo with Sound to play if you scroll down and look through your Fire TV interface. This is total cr*p as it overrides your Prefs to not have Video and Audio play automatically.

    The Fire TV interface has always been a complete mess. Like the worst of the Amazon and Woot sites combined in a “maybe you would like this too?” GUI. Now it’s just “a little bit worse”. Thanks Amazon.

    • Tony Ramirez says:

      Fell like punching that horrible vulgar Mrs. Maisel bad enough that stupd trailer plays I can skip head at least but to play when browsing even though I set it not to in the settings is annoying. When services go original it is annoying as they shove it into your face even when you have zero interest in it.

      Really Apple is the only one with originals it never pushes matter of fact “Carpool Kariokie” you have to browse and search for it.

  13. Charlie says:

    I actually use the Roku Channel occasionally and sometimes there are no ads. Between Netflix and Amazon Prime and occasionally HULU I have enough choices without suffering through ads on a regular basis.

  14. RedPenguin says:

    Not sure what I am doing wrong but the audio plays all skippy.

    It sounds like a very dirty CD being played when I try videos from Freedive.

    Strangely the ads play normal.

  15. Mike says:

    By “free”……………is this free to just Prime members or anyone with a fire-stick?

  16. Keith says:

    Not impressed. There’s plenty of free content you can have access to if you’re willing to suffer through the ads.
    I have one that comes with AT&T that I never use.

  17. TechyChris says:

    Every time Amazon implements some trickery like this I thank myself for never removing Fire Starter from my boxes.
    Full Home Screen Control = Happy!

  18. Jim says:

    “Adguard. It will blank out the ads to a black screen with spinning wheel for the ads duration”. Where can I get Adguard? Side load from where?

    • ck says:

      Adaway h t t p s://tinyurl.com/ydhadr4d
      Adguard h t t p s://tinyurl.com/yd8238xp
      Blockada h t t p s://tinyurl.com/yahou7cn
      Sideload with downloader and remove the spaces in the URL (avoiding direct links)

      • Jim says:

        Thank you.

      • DiaperDanDoodied says:

        Beyond installing these don’t you need to move your traffic to a specified port number? How did you do that? I’ve had mixed results via aftv3 developer menu and enabling proxy & port. There a better way?

  19. ck says:

    It’s not bad in my own opinion, movies are in 1080p hd but I watch the last action hero but it had 17 ad spots. The ads weren’t that long or annoying so I have no complaints considering it free old movies.

  20. JoeB says:

    Bezos needs to recoup his eventual divorce settlement. Expect price increases for other Amazon services :p

  21. ben says:

    ads are not too bad compared to the others. I have prime but i would recommend this for those who cannot afford the prime membership. good selection

  22. Budley007 says:

    I’m willing to predict that free Prime Movie content will become more and more nonexistent in the near future thanks to Freedive.

    I would also be willing to predict that Amazon will seriously consider suspending free Prime content as a member service by 2020-2021(ish) if Freedive meets or exceeds their revenue expectations.

    I’m not touching Freedive with a 10′ pole.

  23. Judith Gallati says:

    Nice to have new content haven’t watched Fringe in years awesome thanks

  24. ben says:

    is it me or do some shows movies have more or less ads than others. sawsome with only 2 ad break lines some with 8.

  25. Mike says:

    Don’t know if anyone is still following this thread but…….I tried the app tonight, but the sound does not work during the movies. When the app starts, I hear the intro for the app, but when I click on the movies, they play but no sound. Any ideas?

    • Ck says:

      I watched ninja this morning and I had no issues. I watched on the original gen 1 fire TV stick in 1080p and they were only 2 commercial spots.

  26. Robertjm says:

    Trying it on my Roku Streaming Stick, and all the selections under the IMDb Freedive section want me to pay a rental fee!!

  27. Whatsagirltodo says:

    My free dive is the only one that has a black screen and sound. I can watch movies and tv every where else with my fire stick. It just recently started doing this. I don’t recall doing anything different. I am new at all this so if any one could please guide me to any informative places or give me some advice I sure would appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

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