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IMDb TV launches in UK, eyes global rollout

IMDb TV has made its first trip overseas.

Amazon’s advertising-supported free streaming service has launched in the U.K., the platform’s first international territory outside North America, and will be available to British audiences first via the Prime Video app and later via a standalone app on Fire TV.

The launch slate includes original U.S. shows, such as Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary, Moment of Truth and Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers, alongside a library of movies and TV shows, including Pulp Fiction, Anger Management, The English Patient, Person of Interest, Community and 2 Broke Girls.

IMDb TV joins a busy marketplace for free streaming, with the U.K.’s main broadcasters each having their own platforms, from All4 to ITV Hub and BBC iPlayer, that are hugely popular. But for Lauren Anderson and Ryan Pirozzi, co-heads of content and programming, the hope is that their new arrival can differentiate itself from the established players.

“U.K. customers are used to free streaming, but a lot of the free streamers in the U.K. are really specialized or doing one thing, be it reality or scripted. But we’re building a really, really broad service,” Pirozzi tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re genre agnostic, scripted to unscripted, comedy to drama, hour to half-hour, and we hope that our broad breadth of selection separates us from other customer alternatives.”

Anderson notes that the U.K. version of IMDb TV will differ from the U.S. version and be programmed specifically with a British audience in mind. And while there are no current plans to start financing any local originals, the growing U.K. production presence of Amazon Studios will ensure it has plenty of British and European content to choose from.

“What we want to do is learn and figure out what uniquely does the U.K. audience want before we dive into anything original,” she says.

And while the U.K. may mark IMDb TV’s first international outpost, there’s no reason to think it will not continue a global rollout. Pirozzi points to the Amazon model — which started as “just a U.S. transactional service” — for clues. “So it’s very logical that we would keep going,” he says. The Hollywood Reporter

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