Some good news for Lost fans: all 121 episodes of the series will soon be available to stream for free. The only downside is that it requires using yet another streaming service — and dealing with ads.
IMDb TV, a free streaming service owned by Amazon, will be the exclusive free streaming service for Lost, according to Variety. Fans of Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse’s ABC drama will be available to stream the episodes beginning May 1st, marking the 10th anniversary month of the series finale. Streams will contain ads. Lost is just one of 21 shows that will stream for free on IMDb TV, alongside Ugly Betty, Ally McBeal, My So-Called Life, Desperate Housewives, and Malcolm in the Middle. The additions are part of a new deal with Disney (which also owns 21st Century Fox and those entertainment subsidiaries) and IMDb TV, Variety reports. Shows available via IMDb TV that are also on Hulu will still be available on Hulu.
This isn’t the first time IMDb TV has picked up the rights to full seasons of popular shows. Late last year, the company worked out a deal for Friday Night Lights and Chicago Fire, both of which are currently on Hulu. In fact, many of the shows listed in the new deal are already on Hulu.
Hulu is the key word here
Hulu is the key word here. The streaming service is now fully operated by Disney. The House of Mouse has spoken about how important Hulu’s growth is to the company. Hulu’s generated quite a bit of news in general, starting with CEO Randy Freer announcing he was stepping down. Disney CEO Bob Iger later noted in an earnings call with investors that the company is planning to roll out Hulu internationally in 2021. Disney is also creating an “FX on Hulu” hub and moving some of FX’s new upcoming series to Hulu as streaming exclusives to try and secure additional subscribers.
Unlike IMDb TV, Hulu isn’t free. There are two tiers — ad-supported and ad-free — that Hulu relies on. To keep growing Hulu and to ride a recent wave of momentum created by the limited time bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+, Disney needs to invest heavily in programming. Licensing seasons of its older shows to services like IMDb TV (instead of subscriber-reliant services like Amazon Prime Video) helps generate some additional revenue for Disney that can then go back into new exclusives on Hulu and other programs.
For general consumers who are looking for a place to watch the Lost finale again, having full seasons on IMDb TV for free is kind of nice. But it does also mean that we have to pay attention to one more streaming service. Let the streaming landscape exhaustion seep into your bones.
People can stream IMDb TV titles from the “IMDb app via the IMDb TV page, from your laptop or personal computer’s web browser via the IMDb TV page, and from the Amazon Prime Video app and all Amazon Fire TV devices via the IMDb TV channel,” according to the site’s FAQ.
The full list of shows streaming on IMDb TV as part of the new deal are listed below:
Lie to Me
Malcolm in the Middle
My So-Called Life
Witches of East End