Happy New Year From Founder and CEO Col Needham

Col Needham

Jan. 1, 2019

Introduction and Thanks

Welcome to the 24th edition of our letter to recognise and celebrate IMDb’s top data contributors of the year, which is again being sent to everyone who contributed data in 2018. If this is your first time reading, I am IMDb’s Founder & CEO and you can catch up on old editions of the letter here, as well as follow IMDb’s future progress in our press room. We passed a number of milestones in 2018 – 20 years as a subsidiary of Amazon.com in April, the 25th anniversary of the launch of our first web site in the summer, and our 28th birthday online in October. It has been quite a year and we are grateful for all of your support. Thank you.

IMDb is built by you, our data contributors, so we want to thank each and every one of you for helping us to grow in another record year, whether you added just one item or whether you were #1 in the top contributor list below. Throughout the year we have worked on making it easier for you to contribute, to process your updates quickly, to be more consistent with our policies, and we started to provide a real-time status on all pending updates (see the new contribution history beta test).

Earlier this year Amazon's Jeff Bezos wrote about people’s ever increasing expectations in his annual letter to shareholders - this has particularly resonated with us as we strive to improve IMDb for both our contributor community and our hundreds of millions of monthly visitors worldwide. We are building more new features as well as making existing features more consistently available across all of IMDb’s websites and mobile applications to try to exceed your expectations. We are always thrilled when we are able to bring IMDb to new devices and services; you never know where something you have contributed may appear next.

The Numbers

The table at the end of this message shows the number of approved, non-duplicate data items which the Top 250 have contributed in 2018, including corrections and deletions. New records have been set in terms of the total number of contributors (600,000+) and overall volume. Yet we still managed to achieve further reductions in the time between submission and publication.

IMDb now includes:

* Over 5.6 million titles with over 700,000 added in 2018

* Over 9.5 million names with over 750,000 added in 2018

* Over 105 million filmography credits with over 14 million added in 2018

* Nearly 4 million user reviews with over 400,000 added in 2018

More statistics are available in the press room.

Over 14,000 items were required for you to make it onto the Top 250 list this year.

Progress

... From a contributor perspective by Thomas Porter ...

Looking back at the changes over the past year is always a pleasure. Sharing the improvements with you, a real privilege. Whether you’re a dedicated archivist, industry professional or armchair critic, your content helps power careers and settle viewing decisions (and bets) the world over. Significantly, it’s not just visitors to IMDb’s websites and apps who benefit. Today IMDb’s content is helping to reinvent the video-watching experience via Prime Video’s X-Ray for Movies & TV and power entertainment-related answers via Amazon’s Alexa. Your contributions can have an enormously wide reach, one that is expanding fast.

With that in mind, for IMDb’s Content team, 2018 will be remembered as the year we started to get serious about structured, international data. Having the right answers at the right time in multiple languages, and presenting them in a way that makes sense in text, voice and other media formats has been a big focus and we’re hugely grateful for everyone who has been involved so far. Many of you have been adding international title text for years (thank you) and we were pleased to roll-out a well-received policy change to enable us to collect even more locale-specific title information. We also launched language and country-specific tagging for posters. Check out these versions of the Avengers: Infinity War (2018) poster, tagged with Portuguese and Hebrew.

Elsewhere we’re still laser-focused on making it easier for you to contribute. In 2018 we launched brand new contribution interfaces for User Reviews on apps and our mobile site, and for Title FAQs on our regular desktop site. For the latter we’re now open to submissions of questions without answers to encourage those that do know to help those that don’t. We also launched a new Data Gaps feature to surface missing key title content including runtimes, release dates and plots. We’d love to hear your feedback on new contribution initiatives like this, so please do give it a whirl.

We also just announced a new interface that provides easy, bulk-access to subsets of IMDb title and name data. Check it out if you like your data straight-up.

Speed of service continues to be a major focus. In 2018, a record-breaking number of your contributions were processed within minutes, most within hours, and 95% of everything within 24 hours. For the remaining 5%, we work around the clock to ensure no contribution sits around for more than 5 days. Our customer service speed has also accelerated. Over the year 95% of your contacts were handled within 24hrs on Get Satisfaction and via the new-for-2018 IMDb Help Center (helping scores of you find answers without having to contact us – the speediest type of service there is).

Last but certainly not least, in 2018 we’ve had more direct contact with a wider array of contributors than ever. Our help community on Get Satisfaction is still the place to keep abreast of the latest feature announcements and have your say on content policy changes (see these recent discussions on Company names and writer credits, for example). Our new ventures into internationalization, however, have led us to many new contributors from across the globe and we’ve been blown away with the willingness and enthusiasm to get involved (special shout out to janusminoa and ljdoncel, you rock!). We even ended the year with a face-to-face contributor event in Mumbai. Col Needham and several of the team attended and had a blast – thank you for hosting us, India!

If you’re keen to get involved in new initiatives, please do make yourself known on Get Satisfaction. We’d love to work with you.

On behalf of IMDb’s Content team, thank you, thank you, thank you to our Get Satisfaction Champs, our localization participants, our Beta testers and to each and every one of our contributors. Huge congratulations if you made the top 250 this year.

Happy New Year everyone, see you in 2019!

Thomas Porter
Manager - IMDb Database Content

... From a customer perspective by Col Needham ...

This is an exciting time to be a fan of movies and TV (and related visual media) because we are living in a golden era of choice and convenience: it has never been easier for people to tell stories on-screen and it has also never been easier for audience members to watch this content. We love connecting storytellers to their audience and we love it when you, our customers, find something great to watch via a search, recommendation or other IMDb feature. As technology advances we always look to provide new ways to access IMDb on more devices.

When we launched back in 1990, the ability to search IMDb by voice would have seemed like something from a science fiction movie, yet this is now a common experience with IMDb helping to power entertainment queries on Alexa (and recently not only in English). We will continue to help you to get answers for all your entertainment questions, to watch wisely and to share your passion for entertainment with other IMDb customers worldwide.

On a related worldwide note, India is now our #2 country by size of our active user base, behind the US at #1 and replacing the UK (now at #3). I am just back from my first-ever visit with some of the team to India in December and it was an honour to meet our top contributors and industry professionals there. In support of our international expansion, we also recently added Hindi and Turkish translations to fixed labels within the IMDb Android app. Look for more locally relevant content across IMDb wherever you are located in 2019.

We have continued to produce a variety of own video content and what better way to find a list of it than using an IMDb advanced search. In particular, we have spun-off features from The IMDb Show including IMDbrief. The IMDb Studio filmed interviews at The Sundance Film Festival, The Oscars, South by Southwest, The Cannes Film Festival, San Diego Comic-Con, The Toronto International Film Festival, The Emmys and New York Comic-Con.

Our end-of-year section, Best of, is bigger than ever and celebrates the year in entertainment. We presented a number of IMDb STARmeter awards across the year: Bill Skarsgård, Pom Klementieff, John David Washington, Olivia Munn, Olivia Cooke, and Jacob Elordi. The award is based upon actual traffic to IMDb so every page you visit effectively forms part of the vote.

We followed our 2017 technology migration with a regular cycle of site updates both behind-the-scenes and visible to you. Updates included user reviews, lists, advanced title search, https support and a new video player.

Thanks again to our poll community for the inventive polls, now with over 15,000,000 votes.

Beyond the main web site, we regularly release updates to our mobile apps and you can read release notes or reviews in the iOS and Android stores. You can also follow us on our various social channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube or read our growing number of regular emails.

For entertainment industry customers we offer IMDbPro and Box Office Mojo. On IMDbPro we launched a new design of the main pages based upon extensive customer research; we added many features to the iOS app; we launched an Android app; we are especially pleased with the launch of IMDbPro Track allowing you to be notified when people or titles in which you are interested appear in the news. IMDbPro is also proud to be able to support the ReFrame initiative.

We have an exciting 2019 planned and we look forward to serving you better whenever and wherever you access IMDb. If you would like to join our team or have friends or contacts with the very particular set of skills we are seeking, please keep an eye on our jobs page where we are regularly recruiting in the UK (Bristol, London) and US (Seattle, LA, NYC).

Thanks and Feedback

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome via Get Satisfaction, where you can also propose and vote upon ideas, specifically including: IMDb, data, iOS, Android or IMDbPro.

We wish you a Happy New Year!

Col Needham
IMDb Founder & CEO
on behalf of the whole IMDb Team