“It wasn’t that long ago that I had to tell people what Prime was and then, certainly early in my Amazon career, what Prime Instant Video was,” he tells TheWrap.
While IMDb TV is joining an ever-increasing streaming field, Pirozzi and his fellow co-head of content and programming Lauren Anderson are looking to attract viewers that actually like the kind of shows that used to litter the broadcast and basic cable networks. To make that point, “Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf is doing a cop show for IMDb TV called “On Call.”
“We’re more focused on luring people with great stories they want to see. I think central to our sort of vision of this modern broadcast network is the idea that cord cutters, yes, they’re leaving traditional broadcast and basic cable for streaming,” Pirozzi says, but adds: “It’s not a rejection of the kind of content that you find there — they still love that content. It’s more embracing everything that’s convenient and wonderful about streaming.”
On Monday, Amazon announced more projects in development from the likes of Mike Schur and Sara Gilbert, plus three new unscripted series orders.
“We’re still in our infancy. And so I think part of that means that we are in some ways going to be defined by the first group of shows that come out and really resonate with audiences. But you know, we don’t take the words ‘modern broadcast network’ lightly. So the ‘Bosch’ spinoff is absolutely something we want to be defined by. But we also want to be defined by the untitled Judge Sheindlin project,” Anderson says. “It’s very much thinking of what broadcast meant in its heyday. We really want to bring that back.”
“But it’s another streaming service they don’t have to pay for,” Anderson says. “There’s no way we would want to move past the fact that we are a free service. And so many of the other services that we’re talking about have some version of a paywall.”
Over the past year, IMDb TV has seen a 138% increase in viewership, and 62% of its viewers are age 18-49, who spend five and a half hours per week on average on the free streaming service.
“We like the idea that viewers will be surprised that there’s not a monthly subscription for this service,” Pirozzi says. “That is our intention — to surprise people with that level of quality and curation.”