The roster of shows whose free streaming rights are going to IMDb includes Desperate Housewives, My So-Called Life, White Collar and The Glades, among many others. In the coming months, Lost, Malcolm in the Middle and Ally McBeal will start streaming on IMDb, with Lost and Malcolm having the Amazon platform as their exclusive free streaming home.
In conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the Lost finale on ABC, all 121 episodes of Lost will start streaming on May 1. All 112 episodes of Ally McBeal will be available on April 1 and all 151 episodes of Malcolm in the Middle will hit the platform on June 1.
The other titles heading to IMDb TV in the deal are Army Wives, Boston Legal, Graceland, L.A. Law, Legends, Lie to Me, Private Practice, Revenge, Roswell, St. Elsewhere, Terra Nova, Ugly Betty, The Unit and Witches of East End.
IMDb TV, which is available across a range of connected devices and platforms, is one of the leading ad-supported video on demand [AVOD] services in the U.S. It says its commercial load is about half that of linear television. AVOD is a surging part of the overall streaming landscape, with NBCUniversal planning an AVOD tier of Peacock, which launches in April, and ViacomCBS continuing to expand Pluto TV, which it acquired last year. Other players include Tubi TV and Crackle.
The acquisition news comes the day after Disney released extensive details about its subscription streaming efforts, which have ramped up quickly. Disney+ has reached 28.6 million subscribers less than three months after its launch in the U.S. While Disney+ is a commercial-free, subscription service and Disney has warned investors the company’s balance sheet will take a hit from foregone licensing revenue, the company still has other rights it can license beyond its own platforms, as it did before Disney+ (and as do its media peers).
IMDb TV, known as Freedive when it launched in January 2019, currently features a range of TV and film library titles and has no direct link to Amazon Prime Video originals. Its offerings include TV shows such as Chicago Fire, The Middle and Friday Night Lights, and movies like Shrek Forever After, The Fury and Stranger Than Fiction.