Is Amazon shutting down Freevee? Here's what we know so far

A phone with the 'freevee' logo is held by two hands in the dark.
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

When you think of the best streaming services, you often don't think of the best free streaming services. But a lot of people watch free ad-supported TV instead of paying for streaming services or cable TV alternatives and Amazon Freevee is one of the best.

However, Freevee may not be around much longer. According to Adweek, sources say that Freevee will be sunset "in the coming weeks." Specifically, the target date for shutting down Freevee will come sometime in the second quarter of this year, possibly as early as late April.

Amazon, for its part, is denying the rumors. In a statement to Adweek and other outlets, it 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."

Analysis: Freevee's survival comes down to branding

Before this year, the delineation between Freevee and Prime Video was simple. Freevee was the free streaming service with ads and Prime Video was the paid streaming service — though arguably free for Amazon Prime members — that had no ads.

But then in January, Amazon added ads to Prime Video unless you paid $2.99 a month to get rid of them, something the company is currently being sued over. That created three tiers of streaming service within Amazon: Freevee (free with ads), Prime Video with ads (included in Prime membership) and Prime Video without ads ($2.99 a month on top of Prime membership). 

That seems to have created a redundancy, at least according to the sources in Adweek's reporting. Amazon doesn't really need two ad-supported tiers, and according to these sources, might not even want it. 

A source told Adweek that "Prime Video wants the customers who are only interested in free because they think they might be able to convert them. They were not going to be able to convert them from Freevee."

The timeline may change, but Freevee the streaming service is going to disappear. Freevee the brand may survive for ad-supported free content, but that content is going to live on Prime Video. It's just a matter of when.

Plus, you don't actually need Freevee to watch Freevee content. You can watch it through Prime Video as well. So the reported strategy of transforming Freevee content into free content on Prime Video as a way to entice people into signing up for Prime Video with ads makes a lot of sense from a business standpoint.

Ultimately, this is going to come down to whether or not Amazon thinks the Freevee brand is valuable to keep alive, and whether or not that requires Freevee to be a standalone service. Freevee could easily be rebranded to Freevee on Prime Video or just swallowed whole by Prime Video, but if customers don't like the change, that hurts Amazon.

Internally, that's reportedly not turning out to be the case. Amazon is reportedly not seeing significant outcry from users about its change in strategy for streaming content — lawsuits notwithstanding — and the changes seem to be keeping advertisers happy because ... well, people simply aren't opting to go ad-free in significant numbers.

My guess? The timeline may change, but Freevee the streaming service is going to disappear. Freevee the brand may survive for ad-supported free content, but that content is going to live on Prime Video. It's just a matter of when.

More from Tom's Guide

Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.


Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.