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While the on-demand streaming market is flooded with subscription products, IMDb TV is taking a different approach.

The popular website IMDb, which is short for Internet Movie Database, has become more than a place to look up the filmography of your favorite actor or check the reviews of the latest box office release. Now owned by tech-giant Amazon, IMDb has joined the world of streaming content. It is offering movies and TV shows for free on a platform called IMDb TV.

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ABOUT THIS REVIEW: Team Clark loves the word “free,” especially when it involves legally streaming TV shows and movies. We decided that we should check out the IMDb TV service and see if it is something users might enjoy on their devices.

For the purposes of this review, I signed up for the service and downloaded the necessary components to watch on my phone, tablet, television, streaming devices and computer. I then took a “test drive” of the service on all of those devices. I came away with some interesting notes to share.

This review is one of many we conducted as a part of our free streaming TV series. You can learn more about our strategies for getting free streaming TV here:

What Is IMDb TV?

IMDb TV is a free on-demand streaming service that is attached to the Internet Movie Database website and app. In exchange for not charging a monthly subscription fee, IMDb TV requires that users watch commercials that are inserted intermittently throughout the content.

While IMDb’s roots are in a fan-based website, the brand was purchased by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and transformed into a mainstream way to access information on film and television. This streaming branch of that operation is integrated into the same app and website that provides movie reviews, ratings, filmographies and even movie showtimes at your local theater.

How to Watch IMDb TV

While the IMDb TV service may be free, that doesn’t mean you’ll get away without signing up for the service.

Sign Up Is Required

If you’d like to enjoy the free streaming from IMDb, they do require that you create an account on their website. You are able to sign up with an email address, Amazon, Facebook or Google account.

That’s annoying, I know, but there is some upside to being signed into their site while streaming. You will be able to create a watchlist, submit IMDb ratings on the content you consume and receive recommendations on shows or movies that may be of interest to you based on previous viewing habits.

Of course, the benefit to this for IMDb is that they’re able to track your viewership and better tailor advertisements for their partners.

The login screen for IMDb TV allows you to use your Amazon, Facebook or Google account.

Devices and Apps

The good news? You’ll be able to watch IMDb TV from your phone, tablet, television, computer or most any other streaming device. The bad news? Depending on the method you’re using, there may be some adjustments necessary.

IMDb TV is available through the IMDb app, which is available on phones and tablets on both iOS and Android devices. If you download this mobile app, you’ll be able to sign in and watch straight from a device.

It also is available through Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Fire TV for television streaming. The easiest way to determine what you need for television streaming is this:

  • If you have an Amazon Fire TV Stick, the IMDb TV content will be integrated into that format since IMDb is owned by Amazon.
  • If you are using a different streaming device, such as a Roku, you will need to download the Amazon Prime Video app to access IMDb TV. It does not have a standalone Roku channel, for example.

Content Available to Stream on IMDb TV

The content selection on IMDb TV is quite good for a service without any subscription fees. There are mainstream movies with big stars like Brad Pitt, Jack Nicholson and Bill Murray. It also appears that the connection with Amazon Prime Video may offer the opportunity for some content to rotate onto IMDb TV for limited-time free streaming. For instance, in October the service was featuring thrillers like Shutter Island and Zodiac in honor of Halloween.

Popular Movies

While you may not have access to new releases with this service, you will be able to see some critically acclaimed films and actors.

The available movie titles rotate often, but some films able to be streamed at the time of this writing include:

  • Sweeney Todd
  • Scent of a Woman
  • No Strings Attached
  • Collateral
  • Atonement
  • Something’s Gotta Give
  • The Game
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  • Surf’s Up
  • Donnie Darko

Films such as The Shining, La La Land and Apocalypse Now have previously been featured on the service.

Popular TV Series

I was pleasantly surprised at the number of television series I recognized. No, you’re not going to get the latest and greatest hits from the small screen, but you are going to find some name brands free of charge. Shows like Mad Men, 24, Lost and Malcolm in the Middle were all hits during their runtime.

Here’s a sampling of the TV series available for streaming at the time of this article:

  • Mad Men
  • 24
  • Lost
  • Malcolm in the Middle
  • Alf
  • I Dream of Jeannie
  • Forensic Files
  • Dallas
  • Kitchen Nightmares (with Gordon Ramsay)
  • Midsomer Murders

The Middle, First 48 and Gilligan’s Island are some TV shows that previously were available on IMDb TV.

Original Content

The selection of original content is a little sparse, but IMDb TV is producing its own shows. Within that effort, there appears to be a focus on animated and short-form talk show formats.

Here’s a sampling of the available original content:

  • You’re Not A Monster (animated)
  • Corner Gas (animated)
  • The IMDb Show (talk show)
  • Unmade
  • Evolved

User Experience for IMDb TV

Now that you know what content you can find on the service, I wanted to give you a better idea of what the user experience is like. Let’s talk about the advertisements you’ll endure, the user interface and some tips for IMDb TV consumption.

How Bad Are the Ads?

The commercial breaks were typically 90 seconds at a time. My experience was often four advertisements per break, with the commercials alternating between 15 and 30 second spots.

Here’s a look at the advertisement distribution for a movie that had a run time of just over two hours:

The movie I watched on IMDb TV had seven commercial breaks.

I marked the seven advertisement breaks with red circles.

For your typical half-hour television shows, I noticed that the experience varied a little bit. I experienced anywhere from two commercial breaks to none at all. Here was the most common, which is a singular break in the middle of the show:

This TV show on IMDb TV only had one commercial break.

The hour-long television show looked more like this, with three breaks included:

This hour-long TV show had three commercial breaks on IMDb TV.

When viewing original content, I noticed that much of it was without advertising. I was able to watch full episodes of the animated shorts, such as You’re Not a Monster, without seeing a commercial.

User Interface

I was very impressed with the simplicity and ease of the user interface. It was not cluttered with ads or promotions as you might expect from a free website. In fact, I saw no advertisements at all on the menu pages via mobile or internet-based browsing.

The menu is broken down by genres and categories. Movies and TV shows were listed separately, but are mixed together as options on the menu. Here’s a look at the default home screen menu:

The menu screen for IMDb TV breaks content down by categories.

It is incredibly easy to swipe through each category on your phone or tablet (use your remote or mouse on TV and computer). If you cannot find what you’re looking for, the search bar is readily available on both the app and the site. The content category breakdowns are as follows:

  • Recently Added Movies
  • Recently Added TV
  • Popular Movies
  • Popular TV Series
  • Movies of the Week
  • IMDb Originals
  • Hidden Gems
  • Comedies
  • Chills and Thrills
  • Action and Adventure
  • Date Night Picks
  • Documentaries
  • Sci-Fi
  • Movies for the Whole Family
  • Drama

Tips for Enjoying IMDb TV

Has some of the available content caught your attention? Here are some tips for enjoying it on IMDb TV:

  • Save the password on your device: If you’re planning to use the app as your primary source of streaming for IMDb TV, I suggest saving your password. I tried not doing that, and was asked to login to my account often upon re-opening the app.
  • Rate movies and shows after viewing: The fun part of streaming content on a site known best for its reviews and ratings for content is that you get to be an active participant in the process. There is no better time to rate a show or movie than when it is fresh on your mind. The integration makes it easy to be a valued contributor.
  • Utilize the recommendations tab: Since IMDb TV is going to be tracking the content you watch no matter what, you may as well see the benefits of it. Swiping over to the recommended tab will identify shows and movies that may be a good fit based on the type of content you have watched. Be warned, sometimes the content it suggests is not available for free on IMDb TV and instead it is suggesting a rental from Amazon Prime Video. That can be annoying, especially if you don’t already use Prime Video.

Final Thoughts on IMDb TV

Still trying to decide whether or not you should add IMDb TV to your streaming portfolio? Here are some pros and cons to think over:

IMDb TV: Pros and Cons

FREE!Not many new release movies or shows
Award-winning movies on the menuSmall selection of original content
Tolerable ad experienceNo Roku channel

Bottom Line

After using IMDb TV for a bit, I was searching for the right way to describe the experience. It reminds me of watching a non-premium, antenna-based television network, but with the luxury of being able to watch on demand and take it on the go with several devices. If you’re looking for a Netflix substitute, you’re likely to be disappointed. If you’re looking for a free way to enjoy some quality content, I don’t think you can go wrong.

Do you have experience watching the IMDb TV streaming service? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION, cast portrait,  2001-2007, CATV / courtesy Everett Collection

Is streaming fatigue a thing yet? If not, it will be soon, as HBO Max, Peacock, and Quibi enter the already crowded market of streamers vying for our attention. But in the midst of the streaming boom, a few totally free services are just sitting there begging for our attention. One of those services is IMDb TV, an ad-supported section of the movie information website that ends arguments about whether or not Shazaam was a real movie on a daily basis (it was not). Owned by Amazon, the collection of movies and films on IMDb TV is far from expansive, but it features quite a few titles you might actually want to watch. If you're intrigued, read on to find out everything you need to know about IMDb TV.

Is IMDb TV New?

It is not! We've all just collectively been sleeping on this aspect of The free streamer launched in January 2019, and features a rotating selection of ad-supported movies and TV shows for your viewing pleasure.

How Do You Watch IMDb TV?

OK, this part is a little bit tricky. IMDb TV doesn't have a separate streaming app that you can download on streaming devices like Roku. It is available separately on Fire TV and other Fire devices since it's an Amazon product, but everyone else will need to access the service via directly. You can also watch anything available on the service by downloading the traditional IMDb app to your smart phone or tablet and clicking the IMDb TV tab at the top of the page.

What Can You Watch on IMDb TV?

Not a lot, but on the upside the service does include some rare finds that aren't readily available in the streaming world. Current titles in the movie collection include Legally Blonde, The Social Network, You're Next, and Stuart Little. On the TV side of things, you can watch all of Degrassi: The Next Generation (you're planning a marathon already, aren't you?), Everwood, Revenge, The Middle, and My So-Called Life. There are also a few international favorites to choose from, like Canada's Corner Gas and the brilliant Britcom Miranda.

Can You Pay to Make the Commercials Go Away?

No, you can't. But on the upside, that means this is one streamer that won't cut into your latte money. There's absolutely no catch. IMDb TV is free — there's no second tier that allows you to pay a fee and skip the commercials. All you have to do is live with a few ad breaks, which aren't that bad anyway. Overall, there doesn't appear to be nearly as many ads as what you get while watching traditional cable.

Should You Try IMDb TV?

If you're looking to bask in nostalgic TV shows or track down a favorite movie that's not on Netflix, then absolutely. This particular streamer isn't for anyone looking for splashy originals or an endless supply of content. IMDb TV has a small library that is a bit of a pain to navigate. But it costs nothing, and has a handful of titles that viewers will actually want to watch. That quality over quantity approach, combined with the joy of watching free stuff on demand, makes this a nice little streamer to keep on your radar as the streaming wars continue to heat up.

Image Source: Everett Collection

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IMDb TV: Everything You Need to Know About the Fast-Growing Free, Ad-Supported Side of Amazon’s Streaming Business

Teasing out the raison d’être and market role of IMDb TV, the free service tucked into Amazon’s panoply of video offerings, can be a challenge for all but the most closely attuned observer. 

It’s not another Amazon Prime Video, which features pricey AAA originals as a particularly attractive benefit of the $119 annual Prime subscription. It’s definitely not Twitch, the live-streaming service moving away from its gaming roots. And it’s not Channels, Amazon’s add-on service selling subscriptions to about 150 third-party channels, including a recently expanded its partnership with AMC Networks to launch five live-linear channels.  

Also Read: AVOD Platforms Suffer From Low Consumer Awareness: Magid

More than three years after launch, IMDb TV is changing up its original strategy moving from mostly “shoulder content” for fans of film and TV to more high profile fare.

In October, it was announced that Judge Judy Sheindlin would get a show on IMDb TV. “The Untitled Judge Judy Sheindlin Project will feature no-nonsense, expeditious Judge Sheindlin’s signature adjudication style with a new array of cases, litigants and judgments,” Amazon said.

November saw the premiere of Alex Rider, based on a series of novels by Anthony Horowitz. IMDb TV renewed the spy series ahead of its season one premiere on the service.

Amazon is also working on a Bosch spinoff series for IMDb TV in which Titus Welliver will reprise the title role.

On the non-fiction side, IMDb TV's expanded relationship with corporate sibling Amazon Studios will see the AVOD service get original docu-series Moment of Truth, about the murder of Michael Jordan's father, and an untitled series on the cultural impact of TV crime procedurals.     

The service offers an impressive bench of licensed shows as well, culled from the libraries of Fox, Universal, DreamWorks, MGM, Sony, Paramount and others. Among the available movies are such notables as Patriot Games, O Brother Where Art Thou, Taxi Driver, Oldboy, Sherlock Holmes, Rushmore, Life of Pi, Lawrence of Arabia, Charade, Whale Rider, His Gal Friday, Spotlight and Memento. 

IMDb TV also got in on the action when Amazon signed an exclusive "Pay 1" distribution deal with Universal Pictures recently. The AVOD platform will soon get streaming rights to Universal's 2021-21 film slate, which includes the latest, incomprehensibly popular The Fast and the Furious movie. 

Meanwhile, available TV series include: Ugly Betty, Malcolm in the Middle, Boston Legal, Murder She Wrote, St. Elsewhere, Little House on the Prairie, Ally McBeal, Desperate Housewives, Columbo, The Rockford Files, Wiseguy, Dallas, The Rifleman, and Mad Men,part of a complicated rights deal Lionsgate cut with Amazon and several other outlets after a long run on Netflix.

Other acquired series for IMDb TV since its content team moved under the Amazon Studios umbrella include Chicago Fire, Schitt’s Creek, Lost, and Friday Night Lights. And it’s all free to watch, for the price of registering.

If you do subscribe to Prime, IMDb TV becomes one of your available Channels. As the site proclaims in a 5-second ad before every show, it’s “Always Entertaining. Always Free.”

Perhaps most notably, Amazon revealed in February that it has around 55 million active users for its ad-supported content.

The ad support is lighter than typical for broadcast or pay-TV outlets, more like a Hulu. As the promos also say, “Fewer ads, No Subscriptions required.”

In O Brother, for instance, the 107-minute film had seven ad “pods,” each with two or three brief ads totaling about a minute of run time. Not bad when watching a 20-year-old Coen Bros. movie that grabbed a couple of Oscar nominations, won George Clooney a Golden Globe, and featured one of the best-selling movie soundtracks of all time. 

More Than a Database

By the way, I know all that because of one of IMDb TV’s defining aspects: its integration with the authoritative database of film and TV shows that Amazon bought in 1998, basically as a lead-generation tool for the DVDs and VHS tapes it was selling back then. 

IMDb TV is much newer, launching in January 2019 as FreeDive, a puzzling name that had no connection to any Amazon asset, nor any resonance with consumers. It took Amazon about six months to rename the service to one of its oldest and most prominent in-house brands. Since then, the service seems focused as much on providing TV and movie fans stuff about TV and films as it is about actually streaming those shows to them. 

IMDb TV, in fact, isn’t even the first thing you see on the mobile app. These days, the first screen spotlights fan-focused meta-content, then (if you’re signed in), your personalized watchlist of upcoming programs, and prominent programming on major streamers. 

“Fan Favorites” include the week's top TV and movies, featuring offerings from Disney Plus, Netflix, HBO and other outlets. WandaVision, Dark and The Old Guard on Netflix, Hamilton on Disney+, and Joker on HBO.

Where Does IMDb TV Land in the Amazon Firmament?

Analyst Rich Greenfield of Lightshed Partners suggests that IMDb TV ultimately should be seen as part of an array of Amazon services designed to keep customers engaged within its ecosystem. Amazon, like Apple and Google, is playing a much broader strategic game, offering customers a spectrum of video, music and gaming entertainment, and the devices to deliver them. 

Add the various entertainment offerings from all three tech giants to their efforts in smart-home technology, immersive entertainment, AI-based personal assistants and speakers, and a raft of other devices from iPhones to Fire TVs to Nest thermostats. IMDb TV is just another soldier in the battle to keep consumers engaged with Amazon for nearly everything. 

Perhaps that’s why tracking down IMDb TV can be a bit of challenge. It’s the third option on the IMDb app, doesn’t have its own separate app, isn’t available on Apple TV, and is tucked deep in the Amazon Prime website. It is, of course, closely integrated into Amazon Fire TV devices.

The AVOD offering did recently expand distribution to LG smart TVs, PlayStation 4, Nvidia Shield and TiVo Stream 4K. IMDb TV also has Google TV app support and has been added to Amazon Fire TV's live lineup.

And there’s plenty to watch, from the high-profile licensed programs to lots of original material about beloved stars, shows, genres and their back stories. Keeping those hard-core fans around, and giving them more reasons to watch, and subscribe to third-party channels, and buy seasons of favorites, all while driving ad revenue to pay for it all, may be all the reason to be that IMDb TV needs in Amazon World. 

IMDB TV on your Android TV Device! We show you how to watch IMDB TV on your Android TV

How to Watch IMDB TV Online

IMDB TV is an ad-supported streaming service that provides access to a wide selection of television and movies. The service is totally free, but there is no way to remove the ads. If you prefer a service without ads, IMDB TV is owned by Amazon, and some of the content on IMDB TV is also available through Prime Video.

What is IMDB TV and How Does it Work?

IMDB TV is a service from the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) that provides ad-supported free access to a large library of TV shows and movies. While Amazon owns the IMDB, you don't need an Amazon Prime membership to use IMDB TV.

IMDB TV is totally free, but you have to watch ads that are interspersed with the TV shows and movies on the service. You can access IMDB TV through a web browser on your computer or an app on your phone or streaming device that is also free. If you do have an Amazon Prime subscription, you can even watch IMDB TV as a channel on the Prime Video site or app.

How to Sign Up for IMDB TV

IMDB TV requires a sign in to work, but they give you a whole lot of options. You can use your existing IMDB account if you have one, or make a new IMDB account for free. Alternately, you can log in using your Facebook, Google, or Amazon account.

Here's how to sign in to IMDB TV and also get started with a new account if you like:

  1. Navigate to, then select Sign In located in the upper right corner of the page.

  2. Select a sign in method, then enter your login credentials for that account to proceed, or select Create Account to make an IMDB account.

  3. If you're creating a new account, enter your information, then select Create your IMDB Account.

  4. After logging into an existing account or creating a new account, you will be returned to the main IMDB website.

How to Watch TV and Movies on IMDB TV

Once you're signed up and signed in, watching movies on IMDB TV is extremely easy. You can use the Advanced Title Search to find the exact thing you're looking for, or simply browse through the shows and movies listed on the main IMDB TV page to find something that looks interesting.

Here's how to watch TV and movies on IMDB TV:

  1. Navigate to, then select IMDB TV in the upper left portion of the page.

  2. Locate a movie or TV show you want to watch, then select it.

  3. Your movie or show will automatically start playing.

How to Use the IMDB TV Watchlist

IMDB TV doesn't have a whole lot of extra features, as an ad-supported free service, but it does include a watchlist. You can add any movie or show on IMDB to your watchlist, whether or not it's available on IMDB TV, and keep track of what you want to watch. If a show or movie is available on IMDB TV, you can use your watchlist to find it on the main IMDB site and then watch it.

The process isn't that different from other services that include some kind of queue or watchlist, but it can be confusing due to the way it leads you to the regular IMDB listing for the show or movie you're trying to watch.

Here's how to use the IMDB TV watchlist:

  1. To add a show or movie to your watchlist, place your mouse over the show or movie you are interested in and select the + in the upper left corner.

  2. From any page on IMDB, select Watchlist in the upper right part of the page to reach your watchlist.

  3. Select any show or movie in your watchlist to go to the IMDB page for that title.

  4. From the IMDB page for that title, select Watch Free on IMDB TV to watch it.

How to Use the IMDB TV App

There are two ways to watch IMDB TV movies and television shows on your phone, tablet, or streaming device. You can use the IMDB TV app if it's available for your device, or you can use the IMDB TV channel in the Prime Video app. If you already have the Prime Video app, then that's the more convenient option. If you don't have Amazon Prime, then the IMDB TV app works just fine.

Here's where to get the IMDB TV app:

Here's how to use the IMDB TV app:

  1. Launch the IMDB TV app, and either log in using one of the provided methods or tap CREATE AN ACCOUNT.

  2. Choose whether or not to allow the IMDB app to access your location.

  3. Tap OK to allow the IMDB TV app to ping your phone with notifications, or click REVIEW to turn notifications off.

  4. Tap IMDB TV in the upper menu bar.

  5. Tap a movie or show you want to watch, and it will start playing.

How to Watch IMDB TV From the Prime Video App

If you have Amazon Prime, then you should have the Prime Video app installed on all your devices. It provides instant access to free Amazon Prime Video content, any channels you have subscribed to, and the entire IMDB TV library.

Here's where you can get the Prime Video app if you don't already have it:

Here's how to watch IMDB TV channel on your Prime Video app:

  1. Launch the Prime Video app, and tap IMDb TV.

  2. Tap a movie or show you want to watch.

  3. Tap Play movie free with ads, and the movie or show will start playing.

Thanks for letting us know!


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