Amazon launches Freedive; ad supported OTT channel

Amazon has launched Freedive, an ad-supported streaming channel featuring movies and TV shows, with the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

The AVOD will be available in the US, beginning today, on the IMDb website and on all Amazon Fire TV devices.

Freedive TV customers will see the new IMDb Freedive icon in the “Your Apps & Channels” section.

Without a Trace

The channel will enable customers to watch hit TV shows including Fringe, Heroes, The Bachelor and Without a Trace, as well as top Hollywood hits such as Foxcatcher, Memento, Monster and The Illusionist without purchasing a subscription.

Customers can also dive deeper into the titles they are watching by using X-Ray, powered by the information on IMDb about cast, crew, trivia and soundtracks.

IMDb already has a list of original video series, including The IMDb Show, Casting Calls and No Small Parts, which will be available on the service.

IMDb says the Freedive catalogue will continue to evolve, with new titles added regularly.

“Customers already rely on IMDb to discover movies and TV shows and decide what to watch,” said Col Needham, founder and CEO of IMDb.

“With the launch of IMDb Freedive, they can now also watch full-length movies and TV shows on IMDb and all Amazon Fire TV devices for free. We will continue to enhance IMDb Freedive based on customer feedback and will soon make it available more widely, including on IMDb’s leading mobile apps.”

In October it was reported that Amazon will allow marketers access to its proprietary data in order to help target video advertising on the platform.

read more here: digitaltveurope.com

Live, scalable, addressable, ad-supported TV by 2024

To make linear TV more compelling, programmers must cut ad loads and boost relevancy. Can this be done in a way that scales to television-sized audiences? A team of industry experts thinks it can happen before the 2024 Olympics in Japan.

There are just too many ads on TV

According to Randy Freer, CEO of Hulu, television programmers simply don’t value the viewers time enough:

“We overloaded the formats; we overloaded the commercial messages going to consumers. So, they started to say, ‘this is too much…my time is more valuable than that.’ As an industry, I don’t think we value people’s time in a way that allowed them to say ‘I get this, there’s a transaction. I’m not paying as much as I could be paying because my entertainment experiences are being supported by advertising.”

Signs are that television can get the balance right between ads and content. For example, though Hulu offers an ad-free option for $4 more per month most people don’t take it. Moreover, Hulu’s engagement is the highest in the industry. Video streamers watch 29 hours on Hulu per month versus 27 hours for the ad-free Netflix experience.

The key to a more competitive experience is reducing the ad load and delivering ads that are relevant to the user. Programmatic ad selling and server-side ad insertion are key technologies enabling the addressable future of TV advertising. However, delivering targeted ads to tens-of-millions of viewers in real-time is still very challenging. Can the issues be resolved?

According to three experts in video streaming and live ad insertion, the future is bright for live ad-supported television. At Go-Live, an invite-only event to discuss the challenges facing live video advertising, representatives from Yospace, Akamai, and SpotX struck a positive note for the future. I asked where we would be with live and linear ad-supported video six-years from today, in 2024. Here is what each had to say.

Universal ad ID underpins ad workflow

David Springall, CTO of Yospace, sees automation of the buying, selling, and playout of video ads as key to future of live and linear video. By 2024, he thinks it will all be in place:

“It seems logical to me that all advertising sales will be automated by then. There’s going to be the use of computationally intensive technologies like blockchain to give purchasers better protection against fraud which further cements the need for pre-fetch at any real scale. Ad copy management workflows will be made more secure. It is going to be handled in the same way that it is handled on broadcast, through a trusted chain of custody which is consistent throughout the industry. In other words, trafficking ads by a universal ID rather than some arbitrary URL.”

Addressable delivers increased ad value

Kevin Schaum, Senior Director of Advanced Solutions Group at SpotX, struck an optimistic note. He believes the industry will be at full addressability by 2024, and that it will deliver the needed revenue lift:

“The idea of addressability for everybody is a reality. Where there are personalized ads and the media owners, and broadcasters get higher rates because of that. I hope that in the next six years we can work through a lot of the challenges. I believe we are going to get there.”

read more here: nscreenmedia.com