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Amazon denies report it plans to shutter AVoD platform Freevee later this year

Leverage: Redemption has been moved to Prime Video

Amazon has denied that it will shut down AVoD and FAST platform Freevee after a report in advertising trade publication Adweek claimed it plans to close the service later this year.

Adweek, citing three people familiar with the strategy, reported Amazon would sunset the service and shift its focus to Prime Video, which itself has introduced an ad-supported tier in multiple markets including the US over the past month.

The report said the timing of the closure was a moving target, though it suggested the service could be shuttered as early as April, ahead of the NewFronts digital advertising show in late April.

Amazon called the claims “inaccurate” and in a statement said: “There are no changes to Freevee. Amazon Freevee remains an important streaming offering providing both Prime and non-Prime customers thousands of hit movies, shows, and originals, all for free.”

Since September, when Amazon ffirst revealed plans to launch an ad-supported tier on Prime Video, rumours have swirled that the tech giant may look to shut down Freevee or bring the services together in some form.

Under the strategy shift, subscribers to Prime Video have been moved to the AVoD tier by default at no extra cost. Those that wish to continue with the ad-free version of Prime Video must pay an increased subscription fee.

Speculation about Freevee’s future has continued after several shows originally destined for the AVoD service, including season three of Leverage: Redemption and the sophomore instalment of American Rust, have moved to debut on Prime Video.

It should however be noted that over the past year, Amazon has been increasingly open to moving shows and movies between Prime Video and Freevee, with the company announcing in May that 100 Prime Video originals would be available to stream on Freevee before the end of 2023.

Speculation about Freevee comes as Amazon has looked to curb spending in its original content business. Last month, the company made several hundred lay-offs across Prime Video and MGM Studios. In the US, Amazon consolidated three MGM departments – MGM scripted, MGM alternative and MGM+ productions – into a single unit, resulting in the departure of numerous execs.

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