Amazon Fire TV and IMDB partner up for ad-supported channel

Amazon Fire TV channel

The Amazon-owned entertainment site IMDB may be announcing a free TV channel for Amazon's range of Fire TV media players, as early as this week.

Sources close to the project spoke to CNBC, saying that the dedicated Fire TV channel would echo similar offerings from Hulu or The Roku Channel. This means paid-for advertisements would be funding the freely-available content, which is expected to include a range of TV series and films for viewers.

Advertisements are already found on a number of Fire TV apps, though the dedicated channel is expected to double down with ads between television content – and placed around the video window.

Amazon Prime naturally has a large library of video content already, though we'd imagine the provider wouldn't want to overly cannibalize its own services for the free channel – which will be available for all Fire TV owners, rather than just Amazon Prime members.

Show me the money

TV advertising is still a lucrative business, and Amazon has the customer data from its various retail and streaming service arms – Amazon Prime, Amazon Music, Audible, and the like – to offer a targeted range of advertisements to the Fire TV's user base.

The free channel is just the latest in Amazon's various moves into home entertainment, off the back of a new Fire TV Cube that combines the best of Amazon's media players with a fleshed-out Alexa smart assistant

A TV channel may seem innocuous enough, but it's clear Amazon is looking to make Fire TV an increasingly harder service to resist.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.