Welcome to IMDb Contributor, a site dedicated to the contribution experience at IMDb. At the moment you can track the status of your new title, episode, trivia, and image update contributions. We will add tracking for other types of data contributions in future updates. Stay tuned!
A message to you, our contributors, from IMDb's founder and CEO, Col Needham
Introduction and Thanks
Welcome to the 29th edition of our annual letter to thank IMDb's data contributor community and IMDb’s customers all over the world.
I am IMDb's Founder and CEO. I always look forward to this opportunity to reflect upon the year and to share those reflections with our contributors and customers alike. This letter celebrates all of our data contributors, especially those who made the Top 1,000 list by volume in 2023. Our thanks go to everyone who has helped us along this exciting journey, regardless of contribution volume.
IMDb’s vision is to power the creation, discovery and enjoyment of entertainment everywhere. This has been true ever since our launch in 1990 and one of the beauties is that the way we go about it is ever-changing: as entertainment grows; as storytellers can reach their audiences in new ways; and as technology enables us to do more for our customers.
In 2023 IMDb celebrated the 25th anniversary of becoming a subsidiary of Amazon.com back in 1998. We were jointly Amazon’s first acquisition so myself and several IMDb team members are among Amazon’s longest serving employees. The tradition of sending this letter began in 1995, and for an interesting view of our history, you can catch-up on any of the 28 previous editions. Our team members Ramsey and Jay co-wrote this letter with me again - we are a small part of a larger worldwide team whose work this letter also represents. Thank you IMDb team.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed any factual data, participated in a ratings poll, written a review, shared a list, voted in a user contributed poll or improved IMDb in any other way. The “everywhere” portion of our vision continues to happen beyond just the IMDb websites and apps to now include social media, a presence at many real-world events, collaborations with other organizations, and licensing IMDb to third parties who build even more experiences for their customers. A single data contribution has the power to ripple through these pathways and reach people across the world in a growing number of languages. To learn more about contributing data, please visit our Contributor Zone.
The dynamic Contributor Leaderboard enables us to count submissions right up until the year end and anyone with more than 100 approved items in 2023 can discover their own position in the rankings. We have been updating a running total for 2023 weekly across December with the final version published early on 1 January 2024 at https://contribute.imdb.com/leaderboard/2023/
IMDb now includes:
- Over 17.5 million titles with more than 4.5 million added in 2023
- Almost 14 million names with over 950,000 added in 2023
- Almost 195 million filmography credits with more than 20 million added in 2023
- Almost 8 million user reviews with more than 500,000 added in 2023
- Almost 575 million data items in the core database, having crossed 500 million earlier in 2023
Additional statistics are available in the Press Room and are updated quarterly.
This has been another record year across many dimensions of contribution, notably new titles. We averaged almost 1.25 million approved updates per week. Speedy processing, rapid publication, and consistent policies continue to be our focus areas as we appreciate their importance to you. We have made extensive scaling and processing improvements behind the scenes to deliver upon these aims.
Every contribution is important and, as we often highlight, you never know when just one piece of extra data will help another customer answer their question or make a viewing/listening discovery which changes their life for the better. We are reminded of this via the movie quote: “all of life’s riddles are answered in the movies” [or also answered in TV, web-series, games, podcasts, and music videos].
... From a contributor perspective by Ramsey and Jay on The Contributor Team ...
Is it just us, or has 2023 flown by? It’s been an incredible year for film, with the record-breaking Barbenheimer release weekend, a new Scorsese epic, and countless animated visual masterpieces (shout out to 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem'), not to mention a feast of top TV shows like "The Last of Us" and the final season of "Succession" to name a few of our favorites.
It’s also been another busy year for our epic contributor community, so we must start by saying thank you. From the plot outlines, to the reviews and the millions of factual data points you take the time to upload and share, thank you to each and every one of you who took the time to contribute to IMDb. Your contributions are vital in keeping our titles up-to-date, informative, and entertaining for the entire IMDb community.
Our Contributor Team has spent a lot of time in 2023 focusing on technology improvements that should make contribution easier, more fun and ensure our contribution systems are robust and can scale in the future, as the entertainment landscape and the IMDb fan experience continues to evolve and change.
With that said, there have still been a number of significant improvements, which we hope have made your contribution experience better. Given the positive feedback around 2022’s end of year leaderboard, we added “your position is” messaging to the top of the monthly leaderboards, making it easier than ever to determine where you rank each month. We also identified a couple of issues with how the contribution calculations were handled and made some tweaks to make them more accurate - including counting a few previously omitted data types like contact data.
Further, the team have made various improvements to our quality control systems for certain data types, now making it more likely that contributors will be warned upfront if their contribution is invalid. Some of these changes include; warnings to prevent the mistaken submission of duplicate release dates, and restricting contribution of new items on types where only one is valid, such as heights or birth dates. We also added more guidance and messaging to help you format submissions correctly the first time round, to improve your chance of getting your hard work approved and live on IMDb as soon as possible.
We recently kick-started an initiative to engage with our contributors on changes we are making to the contribution process. Over the last month we have invited our Sprinklr Champs to participate in closed beta testing, trialing some exciting upcoming changes and giving us insightful feedback. This has proven invaluable and is something we’re looking forward to exploring even further in 2024.
We also owe a huge thanks to every contributor who has provided feedback about their experience via our contribution satisfaction survey. We appreciate your insights about what we can be doing better. Based on your suggestions, we have already rolled out a few improvements, which we hope will make your lives a little easier. This included adding a character count to the plot outline submission forms and introducing auto-suggestions to Award Nominations/Movie Connections. So, if you'd like to have your say, keep an eye out for the survey at the bottom of your next Contribution Confirmation page or leave us your thoughts any time over on our Community pages.
2024 is going to be a big year for IMDb and our contributors will, as always, be an integral part of our growth and success. So, here’s one final enormous thank you to our contributors from the entire IMDb team - we hope you have a restful holiday period and a Happy New Year!
... From a customer perspective by Col Needham ...
This is a wonderful time to be an entertainment fan and we are always appreciative of the work which storytellers devote to their creative process and to reaching their audiences. We find it inspiring how IMDb often plays a part in the making of these stories in the planning and production stages via IMDbPro, and how we also can connect storytellers to their audiences once the title is ready to be shared with the world. When you use IMDb, you are helping here, too.
I track all of my movie viewing through IMDb and, if you know our history, this is how the early non-public version of IMDb began for me in the 1980s. I have now watched over 15,000 unique full-length movies – a milestone achieved with the IMDb Seattle team this past summer at a team screening of the excellent and funny Joy Ride (2023). This also means 15,000 ratings from me on IMDb - this total does not include re-watches either. It took me 36 years to reach 10,000 movies and just under seven years for the next 5,000. As we have always done, IMDb needs to adapt and grow to remain relevant to entertainment audiences in 2024 and well beyond. We want today’s new entertainment fans to benefit from IMDb as they start to discover titles, people, and stories - hopefully we will be their constant entertainment companion throughout their lives, just as IMDb has always been for me.
We have a responsibility to ensure the fruits of previous hard work and data contributions are accessible to a worldwide audience for the next 33 (and more) years. This does require the acceptance of change and an appreciation that the presentation of information online is always evolving. What once worked fine when technology was simpler, when expectations were lower, and when the content types IMDb covered were smaller, will not always work as well today. We are heading into the final stages of a multi-year rebuild of IMDb which will see us long into a future where: we grow data types to match the changing entertainment landscape; we cover more languages as entertainment becomes more globally accessible; we support more ways to discover then watch/listen/consume entertainment; and we are more consistent/accessible across a growing range of devices. It is an exciting challenge for us.
We now serve over 90% of web page views on our new modern, scalable technology service with our new responsive, localizable, and more accessible design (see last year’s letter for more on this). Across the year for the redesign we launched: the first batch of title subpages in January; news pages in March; ratings pages also in March, with additional country breakdowns and episode ratings-at-a-glance for TV shows; name subpages in April; additional title subpages in May; charts pages in June (along with more powerful filtering options on the same pages in October); the events page and many of the special sections pages in June; FAQ and episodes pages in July; Watchbar logos in October; and finally, advanced title search in November. Outside of the redesign we launched: name and title FAQ pages powered by Alexa; video playback improvements, including closed-caption support; Six Degrees game (in beta testing); and a data visualization challenge.
For improvements in the IMDb apps, please see the release notes for our mobile apps in the iOS and Android stores. We are especially pleased with the recent additions of "Interests" pages and vertical video in both apps. We also made extensive improvements to the IMDb What to Watch app which is available for Fire TV in the US.
For more on 2023, please see our annual Best Of section and our IMDb STARmeter Awards section. We updated our sizzle reel for some fun reminders of how our customers and the industry engage with IMDb. You can follow us on our various social media channels: TikTok; Facebook; Instagram; Twitch; X; and YouTube. Thanks as always to our poll community for creating such engaging content for IMDb customers.The Future
We have an exciting year ahead as we look to complete the technology migration with customer lists up next. This migration unlocks further international growth along with getting IMDb on more devices, and with improved accessibility everywhere. We want to continue our work with the global entertainment industry via IMDbPro to encourage more equitable hiring. The generative AI space presents many interesting opportunities for IMDb.
IMDb will be 34 years old in October, briefly catching up with Taylor Swift before her December birthday – no 2023 publication would be complete without mentioning the TIME Person of the Year! I will be celebrating by attending two of Taylor’s London concerts in 2024. I am going to remember it All Too Well.
Thank you for all of your support across 2023. Ideas and constructive feedback are always welcome via Sprinklr, where you can also propose and vote upon new ideas, including those pertaining to the following topics: IMDb, data, iOS, Android, and IMDbPro. This letter itself will be posted to Sprinklr if you have any feedback or questions.
If you have 100+ approved contributions, you can check your own position in the contributor rankings via the annual leaderboard. If you are inside the Top 300 contributors, we are offering free access to IMDbPro Premium throughout 2024 as a reflection of our appreciation. We will contact those contributors who qualify soon with access details.
We wish you a Happy New Year for 2024!
Col Needham IMDb Founder and CEO on behalf of the whole IMDb Team