Every year, we send a message to our top contributors. This message later gets shared with the contributor community; they are archived here for posterity.

Some of the messages refer to a list of top contributors; these have been separated, and can be found here.

Please note that, because of the age of some of these messages, some links and all email addresses are no longer valid; the ones known not to be valid are not active, or have been linked to their replacement.

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Message for 2017

Introduction and Thanks

Welcome to the 23rd edition of our end-of-year message to IMDb's top data contributors. A year in which we celebrated IMDb's 27th birthday and in which we saw a record number of data contributions. In addition to sending this letter to our Top 250 contributors, it will now be distributed to everyone who contributed data in 2017. 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 progress in our press room.

We could just write "thank you" some several tens of millions of times, once for every new update you contributed in 2017, however, in this letter we like to draw attention to some of the achievements across the year. Let's start with an individual "thank you" for everything you have personally contributed - we could not do it without you - every data contribution is important, whether you are in the Top 250 or whether you made only one update.

We have continued to build new features across IMDb’s website & mobile applications and we recently completed a major technology upgrade which will significantly increase the pace of developments in 2018 and beyond for our 250+ million monthly visitors worldwide. We are thrilled to see IMDb content in use outside of the IMDb platform, particularly at our parent company of (nearly) 20 years, Amazon.com. You will see IMDb content weaved throughout the Amazon Video experience, and IMDb is powering more of the entertainment questions via voice interfaces on Alexa devices too (especially try the fun MovieBot skill).

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 2017, including corrections and deletions. A new record of nearly 500,000 different people in turn contributed a record volume of data in 2017. Even though contribution volumes have increased and the database is more complete, we still made significant reductions in the time between submission and publication, expanding our weekend and international teams in the process.

IMDb now includes:

  • Over 4.8 million titles with over 650,000 added in 2017
  • Nearly 8.8 million names with over 700,000 added in 2017
  • Over 93 million filmography credits with over 12 million added in 2017
  • Over 6.8 million images, 3.4 million videos and 3.5 million customer reviews

More statistics are available in the press room.

The minimum number of items required to be in the top 250 contributors exceeded 12,000.

Progress

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

Another exciting year end, another Star Wars movie to argue about (yes, that is three references for three years in a row but who's counting?) and another trip down memory lane to look back at all the contribution-related changes and improvements. It has been quite a year...

Last year we celebrated processing 90% of contributions within 24 hours from the point of submission. In 2017 we upped this to 95% within 24 hours and took a new goal to make sure none of the remaining 5% waited more than 5 days to be processed. We care deeply about this service level and we've had a lot of positive feedback following our focus to improve it. Don’t forget, earlier this year we launched a new processing times page so you can keep an eye on progress.

We're also proud to have continued to handle 95% of your customer service contacts within 24hrs. Regulars on Get Satisfaction will have noticed all the new staff faces announcing changes and answering questions quickly, and of course we're all familiar with and eternally grateful to our Champions. Special thanks to you all for making the community so invaluable. In an effort to improve our customer service even further we also launched https://help.imdb.com/ - our new help hub centralizing submission guides, FAQs and help content in one handy place.

Speedy service was not the only focus. Speed of data availability has been super-charged over the past few years and 2017 welcomed in one of the final non-rapidly published areas of IMDb; the submission interface. Now, instead of having to wait up to 1-2 days for the submission interface to update following a data change, contributors can submit a subsequent change almost immediately (add episodes to a just-published TV series, for example). Long-time contributor Marco put it neatly: 'Just when I thought processing of contributions couldn't be faster :)'. We also (just) launched suggestion search for Titles and Companies within the new title submission form, which should make it a lot easier and faster to find the right pages.

One large piece of work spread out over the year has been replacing the technology stack known as 'Swiki', previously home to a handful of wiki-style un-vetted data types with submissions limited to a pre-approved whitelist of contributors. In its place we've launched brand new experiences for Characters, Title FAQs, Parents Guides and a new Plot page combining Synopsis with Outlines and Summaries. While we have had to say goodbye to or temporary pause some of the old page features, importantly all contributed data to these data types now benefit from the same contribution experience, vetting process and rapid publish as standard. For many of the same reasons we also rebuilt the old User Review contribution pipeline coinciding with the new Review sub page launch, and changed the supported formats for creating links within contributions.

While the benefits are not always immediately obvious, deprecating this old technology represents significant progress for the future of contribution, enabling us to focus on building bigger and better experiences next year and beyond. Thanks so much for your continued patience and support while we got to this point.

Now we're in this position, there has never been a better time to get involved on Get Satisfaction to provide your feedback and ideas to help shape that future. From contribution feature requests (like this one to have more control over primary title images, which we built and announced here earlier this year) to data policy discussions (like this announcement of our Motion Capture Cast policy) so we keep our guidelines fresh and in line with the ever evolving industry - whatever you want to discuss, we want to hear it.

So, thanks a million again to the Champs, the contributors, the Beta testers and the Get Satisfaction community. I know I speak on behalf of the entire IMDb Content team when I say it's a real pleasure to work alongside you all. See you in 2018!

Thomas Porter
Manager - IMDb Database Content

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

We remain true to our original vision of gathering and organizing the largest collection of entertainment information and making it available on a wide variety of platforms. Our aim is to be the first thought for all of your entertainment information needs, whether you are a deep fan, a casual consumer, or an entertainment industry professional.

The rhythm of the entertainment industry comes from festivals, awards and the release of new movies and TV shows across the year. There is literally never a dull moment here. Our team brings coverage of these to you as they happen, increasingly with live video. New in 2017 were: our viewing party for The Oscars; an expanded IMDb studio space at The Sundance Film Festival; a bigger presence at San Diego Comic-Con; our interview studio at The Toronto International Film Festival; and our live show at New York Comic-Con. In 2018 you will see more video on IMDb and more of it live with improved playback and device compatibility.

The IMDb STARmeter awards were presented at various events to Peter Dinklage, Stan Lee, Tatiana Maslany, Sverrir Gudnason and Sam Rockwell. The award is based upon actual traffic to IMDb so every page you visit effectively forms part of the vote. Your visits to IMDb also define many of the lists in our Best Of 2017 section - thank you there too.

Finally in editorial, special thanks are due to our wonderful and active poll community whose often fun and always inventive polls appear across the IMDb sites and apps throughout the year. For poll fans, we also have a growing number of FanIQ quizzes.

One of the things which makes working at IMDb exciting for me is the way we are always improving the services and features offered to our customers, even beyond the continuous (by the second) growth in the content available. We have the main site, a mobile site, the iOS app, the Android app, the IMDbPro site, the IMDbPro iPhone app, Withoutabox and Box Office Mojo. All of these sit on top of our 250+ million item database. This means we almost never run the same software on two consecutive days (or these days, two consecutive hours). To better manage all of this complexity and to allow us to make even faster progress in future, a big focus during 2017 has been to complete the move to our new technology platform. We announced this on Get Satisfaction and we appreciated your patience while we completed this work.

The technology update does mean some temporary feature losses on the IMDb site in much the same way you would prune a garden to enable future growth. We will work on the highest impact items early in 2018 at speed, since everything is now on the same modern software system. We already simplified, replaced or updated over 200 different features or software systems, including several major ones to achieve this goal. Two of the more visible enhancements which launched late in 2017 are: support for list editing on the Android app; and the addition of all user reviews to our mobile apps instead of the previous tiny subset. This is in addition to the resolution of countless bugs in the old systems plus the implementation of many feature requests gathered in the ideas section of Get Satisfaction over the years.

We are particularly pleased with the progress on our mobile apps in 2017 and you can read release notes or reviews in the iOS and Android stores. We will continue to work on creating simple, fast, and easy features which are as consistent as possible between the various IMDb web sites and apps.

One of our goals is to make advertising units which our customers will love. If you are located in the UK or US, you may have seen our updated enhanced title pages, with Blade Runner 2049 (2017), Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) being team favourites.

On IMDbPro we have launched a steady stream of features and updates, including: the ability to manage featured images on IMDb/IMDbPro/Amazon Video; an easier resume data management system; streamlined news; improved box office; easier sign-up with Amazon Payments; and the much-requested IMDbPro iPhone app.

Our film festival submissions platform, Withoutabox, welcomed new festivals including Tribeca, The LA Film Festivals and (local to us) The Bristol Encounters Short Film Festival, as well as continuing to represent major festivals such at The Sundance Film Festival, The Toronto International Film Festival and The Edinburgh International Film Festival. We added new search options for filmmakers and improved judging and management tools for festivals are now launching.

Overall it has been a busy year for updates and one which has also seen a record number of new customers registering with IMDb. Thanks to our growing international community, we now have over 200,000 Indian movie, TV, and celebrity pages on IMDb. We have observed strong growth in our user base from India, and are happy to see strong engagement with our trending feature. This helps fans stay up to date on the global movies and TV shows trending in India, as well as the most anticipated Indian movies. We have grown our presence on social media and hopefully many of you are enjoying our regular email program which will become more customized in 2018. We added ticketing options via Atom Tickets in summer, with fun features such as the ability to order drinks and snacks to be ready-made for collection upon arrival at the cinema. IMDb data is becoming more alive via the addition of features such as soundtrack samples too. Finally, after 26 years in operation, we are moving the public IMDb data from FTP to an Amazon S3 and https replacement service.

We are looking forward to a fabulous 2018 and to serving you better as both contributors to and customers of the IMDb data. 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 Bristol or London in the UK and Seattle, Santa Monica or New York City in the US.

Thanks and Feedback

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome via Get Satisfaction.

We wish you a Happy New Year!

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

Message for 2016

Introduction and Thanks

Welcome to the 22nd edition of our end-of-year message to IMDb's top data contributors. I am IMDb’s Founder & CEO and it is a real privilege to co-write this letter each year. In the process of writing it, I enjoy the opportunity to remind myself of what IMDb has been able to achieve across the year, all thanks to your help. The most important thing is to thank everyone who has contributed data to IMDb in 2016, and therefore has built upon the contributions of previous years from 1990 onwards. We could not do it without you and every data contribution is important.

We recently updated our promotional video which also serves as a great reminder of how IMDb is used by over 250 million customers worldwide each month and also how IMDb is used within the entertainment industry. Please take a few minutes to watch the video at http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1376433177/ and, if you are interested in more background, please visit our press room at http://www.imdb.com/pressroom/

This message is first being sent to the 250 most prolific contributors in 2016. It will also be shared widely such that everyone can appreciate your efforts, including being placed alongside previous letters in the Contributor Zone at http://www.imdb.com/czone/top_msg

Across 2016 we have continued to build new services on the IMDb website and on the IMDb mobile apps, as well to place more IMDb content on other devices and services. In particular within the viewing experience on Amazon Video, where we help people discover great movies and shows to watch and to learn more about them before, after and during their viewing (on the latter, see http://www.imdb.com/x-ray/). You will also see IMDb ratings on more services, including on several airline in-flight entertainment systems.

If you have contributed any data in 2016, our gratitude applies equally to you. Thank you.

The Numbers

The table at the end of this message shows the number of approved, non-duplicate data items (including deletions / corrections) which you have contributed in 2016 and your position within the top 250 contributors. This has been a strong year for contributions and one in which we saw a record number of people contribute to IMDb, with contributions from over 450,000 different people in 2016 alone. We are especially proud of the new image upload system, which has increased the image coverage on IMDb beyond all our expectations. Even though contribution volumes have increased, we have made significant reductions in the time between submission and publication.

The headlines from the 2016 numbers are:

* IMDb covers over 4 million titles with over 475,000 added in 2016

* IMDb covers over 7.5 million names with over 700,000 added in 2016

* IMDb includes over 81 million filmography credits with nearly 10 million added in 2016

More statistics are available at http://www.imdb.com/stats

The database gets more complete each year, so in theory there ought to be fewer holes in the coverage to fill, which makes these growth numbers even more remarkable. For the first time, the minimum number of items required to be in the top 250 contributors exceeded 10,000. This is an exciting time for fans of film and TV as the opportunities to create and watch more content expand.

On a personal numbers note, IMDb began for me well before our public launch on the pre-web Internet in 1990 when, as a teenager in the early 1980s, I started to record details of the movies which I saw in a database which I had built myself. As a result, I have been able to count every full-length movie which I have seen since January 1980 in my IMDb ratings history. 2016 became a landmark year for my film viewing as I saw my 10,000th unique film, which was A Monster Calls (2016) featuring IMDb STARmeter award winner Felicity Jones as announced via http://www.imdb.com/pressroom/press_releases_ind/2016/10_17

Progress

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

When we're not arguing about where Rogue One (2016) fits into the correct Star Wars viewing order, the IMDb content team spent much of 2016 building on the foundations laid in previous years to improve the contribution experience. Following last year's image tagging launch we've built a pipeline for contributors to upload images to titles; continued to expand the mobile submission interface (and made an important change to the old desktop one); and driven significant improvements to service levels.

First up one of our proudest moments of the year has been the launch and adoption of title image upload. We've been overwhelmed with the quantity and quality of your image submissions of posters, stills and artwork. Thanks to you IMDb is an even more content-rich and good-looking destination. A big shout out to those contributors involved in the Beta and those that continue to delight us with awesome images every day.

In last year's letter we raised a glass to halving the longest wait for a vetting decision from 14 to 7 days. This year we've expanded our team of Data Editors to handle 90% of data contributions and 95% of content-related customer service contacts within 24 hours of the point of submission, including on weekends. We've always worked around the clock but handling helpdesk messages within 24hrs 7-days-per-week should be noticeable to those of you who use our report forms, for example, to request primary image changes, event creation or company edits.

Staffing changes are not the only recipient of 2016's toast. A large portion of our data processing improvement is thanks to technological investment, including the decoupling of data attached to new titles, names and companies. Now, once a new title is approved all the filmography and title-related data submitted with that title is released for processing straight away. You should see it go live on the site much quicker. This kind of behind-the-scenes development is like stealing the design plans for the Death Star. Work like this makes it much easier to fix and build new contributor-facing features moving forward. Some of this work enabled us to launch a new filmography section for location managers.

As for improving existing contributor tools we recently rolled out Name Suggestion Search. Now, as you begin entering a name in the filmography form we provide suggestions based on what you've typed and the context of the submission. We're trying to reduce the number of steps needed to contribute data and increase the accuracy of submissions. To read more about this feature and to help make it even better, visit our Get Satisfaction community forum: https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/contribution-name-suggestion-search

In fact Get Satisfaction is the best place to keep abreast of all our launches and updates: https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/categories/imdb_imdb_contentdata_issues?topic-list[settings][type]=update

Your feedback here directly helps to improve our contributor tools and shape our development roadmap so please keep it coming. Over the past year if you've helped out a fellow contributor, participated in a Beta, submitted an idea or debated a data policy, thank you (especially our champs, you guys rock: https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/details/champions). Even if you haven't because you're too busy contributing cool data to get involved, thank you too. IMDb wouldn't exist without you.

From everyone in the Content team, thanks again and Happy New Year! Here's to 2017.

Thomas Porter
Manager - IMDb Database Content

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

Outside of improving the contribution experience, our big themes in 2016 have been to continue to build and improve upon the features and services which sit on top of the unique database content, and to expand internationally. Our aim is to be the first thought for all your entertainment information needs, whether you are a deep fan, a casual consumer, or an entertainment industry professional.

Rather than the traditional month-by-month look, we are going to group the progress by theme. First, there is now a set of regular events which form the backbone of our editorial calendar. This year we have grown our editorial team and added new events and new types of content. Our awards season coverage is located under http://www.imdb.com/awards-central/ and, new for 2016, is a dedicated film festival section under http://www.imdb.com/festival-central/ to conveniently group our year round festival coverage in collaboration with our Withoutabox festival submissions team.

Thank you also to our active poll community who help to engage IMDb users with fun questions on our home pages and on http://www.imdb.com/poll/ throughout the year. By genre we added a horror section at http://www.imdb.com/scary-good/ and, in terms of viewing opportunities, an Amazon Originals section at http://www.imdb.com/amazon-originals/ and Holiday Streaming at http://www.imdb.com/streaming/ along with sections for coverage of specific titles or franchises, including http://www.imdb.com/star-wars/. The editorial year always ends with our annual Best Of section at http://www.imdb.com/best-of/ which reviews the year using IMDb data. You can always keep track of other timely editorial content via the IMDb Picks section at http://www.imdb.com/imdbpicks/

The IMDb STARmeter award is now presented twice per year and the 2016 recipients were Bryce Dallas Howard and Felicity Jones. The award is based upon actual traffic to IMDb so every page you visit effectively forms part of the vote. Bryce received her award at Sundance in recognition of her #1 position in the 2015 breakout star listing in our annual STARmeter list, see http://www.imdb.com/list/ls073917212/videoplayer/vi2784212249. Felicity received her award at Toronto in anticipation of the stellar fourth quarter which saw her appear in three movies and hit #1 in STARmeter on several weeks, including the final chart of 2016 this week, see http://www.imdb.com/videoplayer/vi1554429465. The 2015 recipient at Toronto, Brie Larson, went on to win the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Room (2015).

Building upon the success of video last year, we first expanded our Sundance Studio at http://www.imdb.com/sundance/video. We updated the design of title pages on the website to more prominently feature trailers and other videos. At the Oscars we were able to broadcast video interviews live from the arrivals red carpet for the first time. At Comic-Con we partnered with filmmaker Kevin Smith on a set of fun and informative video interviews and broadcasts from the event, see http://www.imdb.com/comic-con/. At The Emmy Awards we broadcast a live show from backstage and we were the first media outlet to be granted filming access to the after-party, see http://www.imdb.com/emmys/; an Emmy video highlight for us was the Game of Thrones team discussing IMDb ratings at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6039504/#lb-vi4105156121. We are also pleased to host web-series on IMDb such as No Small Parts at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4150832/videoplayer/vi319468825

You can see the regular improvements in our mobile apps via the release notes. We have also taken a number of steps to make features consistent between the desktop site, the mobile site and the mobile apps: we will continue working upon this in 2017. The sign-in process is now the same. The watchlist feature has been rebuilt for mobile and desktop web. The suggestion search, which anticipates the search results as you type, has been greatly expanded to include almost all names and titles rather than just a popular subset and is available everywhere. We rebuilt advanced title search so that it is faster and the results are more timely as it updates continuously, rather than on a once per day build cycle.

Internationally we were pleased to launch the IMDb India Spotlight earlier this month at http://www.imdb.com/india which serves as our home for all things related to entertainment in India, including a set of top rated charts at http://www.imdb.com/india/toprated and live trending data at http://www.imdb.com/india/trending along with quizzes at http://www.imdb.com/india/quiz. We also added a Top Rated English Language Movies chart at http://www.imdb.com/chart/top-english-movies

Our professional services team, which includes IMDbPro and Withoutabox, continued to make progress on behalf of our customers in the entertainment industry. On IMDbPro we now enable professionals to control their Known For titles and their primary profession in search results, see http://www.imdb.com/help/show_leaf?knownforcontrols. For filmmakers submitting to festivals via Withoutabox, we launched a new submissions interface as announced at https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/submit-to-sundance-today-with-the-newly-redesigned-withoutabox and, for festivals receiving those films, we launched an Amazon FireTV app which allows festival programmers to better view them.

We are pleased with the overall progress in 2016 and we already have an exciting 2017 planned also with improvements to the depth and range of editorial content on IMDb, along with making more content and features available across more of the different IMDb platforms and social network feeds as appropriate. If you would like to join our team or have friends or contacts with the very particular set of special skills that we are seeking, please keep an eye on our jobs page where we are regularly recruiting in Bristol or London in the UK and Seattle, Santa Monica or New York City in the US: http://www.imdb.com/jobs

Thanks and Feedback

In recognition of your contributions, as usual, we are offering everyone in the top 250 free access to IMDbPro for all of 2017. We will send a separate message with details and an access code within the next few days.

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome. Please join us in the Contributors' Help message board for policy discussions:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/threads/

or contact us via Get Satisfaction:

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb

Thanks and we wish you a Happy New Year!

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

Message for 2015

Introduction and Thanks

Welcome to the 21st edition of our end-of-year message to IMDb's top data contributors. This has been a landmark year for us in which we celebrated IMDb's 25th birthday in October. We believe this makes us unique in being founded on the Internet and still around today so thank you to everyone who has ever contributed to IMDb since 1990. We could not do it without you.

This message is being sent to the 250 most prolific contributors in 2015. It will also be shared widely such that everyone can appreciate your efforts. We are pleased to see many new names on the list alongside our oldest supporters. Your contributions are now accessed by over 250 million monthly visitors to IMDb across the web, mobile apps and various hardware devices. Thank you.

The Numbers

The table at the end of this message shows the number of approved, non-duplicate data items (including deletions / corrections) which you have contributed in 2015 and your position within the top 250 contributors. Newly included for 2015 are the additions/corrections of photo tags.

In total there are now over 200 million items in the IMDb database, collected since our launch in 1990. Some highlights from the 2015 numbers:

* over 3.5 million titles with over 400,000 added in 2015

* over 6.9 million names with over 700,000 added in 2015

* over 71 million filmography credits with over 8 million added in 2015

IMDb has covered titles in production and development for over 20 years. In November we added a very special title that takes our coverage of future movies to the year 2115 via http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5174640/ and therefore expands our data coverage years to 1874-2115 which is 242 years!

More statistics are available at http://www.imdb.com/stats. For some perspective, it took 14 years for us to reach the same number of filmography credits which were added in 2015 alone and coincidentally 14 years to reach the same number of titles which were added in 2015. We are particularly pleased to have reduced publication times despite this rapid growth.

Progress and Plans

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

For many of us 2015 will be remembered as the year J.J. Abrams properly awoke The Force, we finally caught up with Back to the Future Part II, and the Earl of Grantham's posh velvet curtains came down on Downton Abbey for the last time. Whether you're a gentrified time-travelling Jedi, or not, if you're reading this you're far cooler - you're an IMDb contributor, and for that we salute you above anyone (sorry, J.J.).

Before salutations let's take a moment to reflect on some key achievements. What made 2015 so special is that many of you played a part in testing and launching the new features and updates via one of our betas. We're listening to your requests, prioritizing the most-popular, and rolling them out slowly - fixing bugs and tweaking functionality as a direct result of your feedback BEFORE launch.

First up: image tagging. Since IMDb has had images, not being able to add or edit links to titles and names on those images has been a major bugbear for staff and contributors alike. Now it's finally possible. It's super easy to do (look for the 'edit tags' option) and you've been tagging in your droves. Adding to the mobile contribution interfaces launched in 2014, you can also tag from your phone.

Building on last year's launch of IMDb Contributor (https://contribute.imdb.com/), we've added two more trackable data types (you can now check the status of your trivia and image submissions) and it's now the home of the updated version of the main submission interface (you get redirected there whenever you click 'edit page'). It might not look or feel different yet (and if it doesn't, we've done a good job), but the move is an essential milestone. Tweaking functionality, once slow and difficult, is now faster and easier. Importantly, it's another step closer to syncing up the data on the site with the submission interface.

With the launch of Lifetime Contributor Badges, user profile pages now boast 8 new categories of badge acknowledging contributions in titles, filmography, trivia etc. Each badge has gold, silver and bronze classifications awarded depending on total number of items submitted within each category, ranging from 1 to 1 million(!). The more you contribute, the higher they go. If you have a gold badge, take a bow - you're already in the top 1-2% of all contributors within that category. Check out Col's profile if you want to try and beat the boss: http://www.imdb.com/user/ur1000000/ - view your own by hovering over your username in the top right-hand-corner (when logged in) and clicking 'Your Profile'.

Along with the new features and updates, we've doubled down on our commitment to you by halving and holding our processing service level agreement (SLA); over 98% of data submissions are now processed within 5 business days (down from 10 in 2014). But it's not only processing SLAs we take seriously. We split content-related Helpdesk contacts into 2 categories: Content (messages usually related to specific submissions or live data); and Report (messages usually sent to Helpdesk due to missing functionality on the site - new event requests, title deletions etc.) - we're now consistently answering those contacts within 3 (Content) and 7 days (Report).

Over 80% of problems and questions raised on our dedicated help community on Get Satisfaction are answered within 7 days, in no small part thanks to our awesome Champs who've worked tirelessly all year to make the community what it is; an immensely helpful resource. We check and respond to messages on the Contributors' Help Board every week and it's still a great resource for our top contributors to discuss policy. We're using both forums to gauge opinion and collect ideas for ways to improve the contribution experience.

The future: We can't say too much, but it's safe to say that continuing to drive down processing and publishing times is going to feature heavily in 2016. As is continuing to build on the features available on IMDb Contributor and taking advantage of the new submission interface platform.

Please keep your ideas and feedback coming on Get Satisfaction because we need your input - not only to keep IMDb the greatest entertainment database in the world, but to help shape the tools and features we use to build it. We really can't thank the Champs and Beta testers enough, and if you'd like to get involved in 2016, get in touch (and yes, for the completists, there's a profile badge for both).

Finally, as promised, to mark 25 years of IMDb in 2015, for the first time we've published a list of the top 250 contributors of all time:

https://contribute.imdb.com/updates/guide/top_contributors

Thanks everyone for another wonderful year. See you in 2016.

Thomas Porter
Team Manager - IMDb Database Content

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

A big theme to highlight from 2015 has been to make video a key part of the IMDb experience across our different platforms. We are a service about movies and TV so we think that viewing video should be as much a part of visiting IMDb as reading text and images. This is both in terms of watching trailers, clips, interviews etc. as well as linking to Amazon Video to watch the actual movies and shows. To add an extra dimension to viewing, the popular X-ray for movies and TV service which enhances viewing by showing IMDb content alongside the movie or show, has been expanded from Kindle Fires and Fire TVs to iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Read more about X-ray at http://www.imdb.com/x-ray/

We have continued to add features and content to our iOS and Android apps plus our mobile web site to enable you to take IMDb everywhere you go. We are working to make all relevant IMDb content accessible across all devices. We have increased the development speed of our mobile apps such that new releases are regular and frequent.

This has been a big year for editorial content and the team have covered awards, events, premieres and festivals from around the world. We hope you have enjoyed a peek behind-the-scenes at many events thanks to our on-the-ground team.

Below is the traditional month-by-month look at the highlights of 2015. Outside of these we are still constantly making improvements, adding new features or retiring old ones based on your feedback. Even putting aside the continuous data changes, we almost never run the same version of the IMDb software on any two consecutive days (or increasingly, two consecutive hours). There is always something new launching, either visibly or via a behind-the-scenes technology or process improvement.

The start of year is always about awards and we added more content to our Awards Central section:

http://www.imdb.com/awards-central/

Later in January we attended The Sundance Film Festival:

http://www.imdb.com/sundance

and also launched a video studio there filming over 30 interviews with the cast and filmmakers behind some of the most popular titles of the festival:

http://www.imdb.com/sundance/imdb-sundance-studio/

In February we added personalized recommendations to our iOS app and more video to both our iOS and Android apps. The day of the Oscars saw another all-time page view record at IMDb.

In March we upgraded our video player to support the latest HD streaming video standard which also enables us to automatically select the best video encoding rated based on your bandwidth and browser / app settings. We improved TV information by adding details to TV title pages regarding season premieres, season returns and next episode air dates. We also added an "On TV Tonight" section to the IMDb home page. We also covered the South by Southwest festival at:

http://www.imdb.com/sxsw/

In April we launched a new video upload system for our Withoutabox filmmakers and also for IMDbPro demo reels and all staff videos (including studio supplied trailers). Russell Crowe was also guest editor of the IMDb home page, including a new video feature where celebrity guest editors answer user questions at http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1866510617

In May we covered the Cannes Film Festival:

http://www.imdb.com/cannes/

In June we relaunched our film festival submissions service Withoutabox with a brand new design for filmmakers.

In July we covered Comic-Con

http://www.imdb.com/comic-con/

and also launched our new trailers page at:

http://www.imdb.com/trailers

In August we added the Top Rated TV Shows chart:

http://www.imdb.com/chart/toptv/

In September we covered The Emmy Awards with an extra focus on videos via our celebrity host, Retta:

http://www.imdb.com/emmys/video

and also The Toronto Film Festival:

http://www.imdb.com/toronto/

In October we celebrated IMDb's 25th birthday with a special editorial section:

http://www.imdb.com/anniversary/

along with a "thank you" letter from me:

http://www.imdb.com/anniversary/25-anniversary-col-letter

We also added a "TV Tonight" section to the trailers section (see tab) on:

http://www.imdb.com/trailers/

and launched the Most Popular Movies chart:

http://www.imdb.com/chart/moviemeter

and Most Popular TV chart:

http://www.imdb.com/chart/tvmeter

A popular video was this James Bond themed one, coinciding with the release of Spectre:

http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2642129689

In November we updated the photo gallery viewing experience across IMDb's mobile platforms. For example, the mobile photo gallery for my favourite actress:

http://m.imdb.com/name/nm0428065/mediaindex?rmconst=rm839575808

we also launched a new live webcast interview series called "IMDb Asks" with an archive available at:

http://www.imdb.com/feature/imdb-asks

In December we added user lists to our Android application and also launched our annual "Best Of" section for 2015:

http://www.imdb.com/best-of

We have a whole series exciting features for 2016 and we are recruiting across our offices in Bristol (UK), Seattle (Washington) and Santa Monica (California):

http://www.imdb.com/jobs

Traffic and Usage

The IMDb audience has once again grown to reach more people around the world on more devices. Your data contributions are still seen and appreciated even more widely than ever before, now by over 250 million unique customers per month on IMDb. Beyond this you will find IMDb content on more services. New in 2015 was the addition of the Amazon Echo device which uses IMDb data to answer certain entertainment related questions:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X4WHP5E/

For more details on IMDb generally, please visit our press area:

http://www.imdb.com/press

We continue to encourage everyone to get involved in building a bigger and better IMDb. We thank you for playing your role in filling the gaps because, as always, every type of data and every title is important in some way; see our Contributor Zone at http://www.imdb.com/czone/ and earn more badges on your profile at the same time!

We will be sharing this message widely and so if you have contributed any data in 2015, our gratitude applies equally to you.

Thanks and Feedback

In recognition of your contributions, as usual, we are offering everyone in the top 250 free access to IMDbPro for all of 2016. We will send a separate message with details and an access code within the next few days.

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome. Please join us in the Contributors' Help message board for policy discussions:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/threads/

or contact us via Get Satisfaction:

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb

Thanks and we wish you a Happy New Year!

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

Message for 2014

Introduction and Thanks

Welcome to the 20th edition of our end-of-year message to IMDb's top data contributors as we head into 2015 during which we will celebrate our 25th anniversary. We are looking forward to an interesting year with many improvements planned. If this is your first year then welcome to the list. It is also good to see many familiar names, and a quick scan shows that Kurt Wallsten is the only person to have been included in every edition. Special thanks Kurt.

This message is being sent to the 250 most prolific contributors in 2014. It will also be shared widely such that everyone can appreciate your efforts.

We would first like to extend a massive thank you for all your data contributions in 2014 on behalf of the IMDb staff and our (now) 200+ million monthly visitors.

The Numbers

The table at the end of this message shows the number of approved, non-duplicate data items (including deletions / corrections) which you have contributed in 2014 and your position within the top 250 contributors.

In total there are now over 180 million items in the IMDb database, collected since our launch in 1990. Some highlights from the 2014 numbers:

* over 3.1 million titles with over 400,000 added in 2014

* over 6.2 million names with over 700,000 added in 2014

* over 63 million filmography credits with over 7.5 million added in 2014

* over 475,000 companies with over 40,000 added in 2014

* over 3,000 events with over 1,000 added in 2014

More statistics are available at http://www.imdb.com/stats. The growth continues to amaze us and we see that the number of filmography credits has nearly doubled since 2010. Thank you. Despite this growth we are pleased to report that your data is being processed and published faster than ever.

Progress and Plans

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

For contribution, the 2014 headlines have been dominated by new ventures. For the first time in IMDb's 24-year history, mobile contribution is a reality, and the ability to check the status of your contribution - from the moment you hit submit, right through to publish - is (albeit still in its infancy) a tangible feature. But before we get all giddy on the giant leaps, let's take a moment to raise a glass to the smaller steps ...

Data Processing: The bread-and-butter of much of what we do in the database content team is data processing. You don’t have to have been a contributor for very long to recall the huge backlogs of unprocessed contributions while we battled complex database migrations and the rebuilding of legacy data vetting tools. In 2014, however, we have reaped the benefits of that work (and your patience) by processing an average of 97% of contributions within our agreed service levels (SLAs, see http://www.imdb.com/czone/times).

Compare the veritable destruction of the traditional Christmas backlog at the beginning of the year (all data types back within SLA by 9th January) to the hangover from backlog hell in 2013 (not back within SLA until 8th March) and you get the idea. Continued investment in improving tools, streamlining data workflows and simplifying data acceptance/rejection policies do not always generate celebration on their own, but these behind-the-scene stepping stones have enabled us to scale with the increase in incoming data, and reflect how seriously we take our role of processing and publishing your contributions as efficiently as possible.

For Bond fans, you might have noticed that the latest title text - Spectre (2015) - went live 20 seconds after its announcement. And the speed in which the new title for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015) was submitted, accepted and published was also impressive.

Mobile Contribution: At the tail end of 2013 we launched 'Is this interesting?' voting for trivia, goofs and quotes on mobile apps and the mobile version of the website, our first foray into mobile contribution. In September we began the process of rolling out the first ever mobile contribution interface for free text data types - Plots and Title Trivia. The result is an accessible, simple interface that sets the tone and usability for future contribution.

As well as providing a platform for the ever-growing mobile audience, our goal was to attract brand new contributors. So far, so good; since launch new contributors have increased by 45%, with a large percentage of those contributions added to our top 1,000 MOVIEmeter titles.

Track My Contribution: One of the biggest contributor pain points has always been the lack of visibility into the status of contributions, and the inability to easily find out - or convey - why data has been rejected is a major frustration shared by contributors and staff alike. In December we launched IMDb Contributor (https://contribute.imdb.com/), a new site designed to provide a solution to both.

Contributors adding new titles or episodes can now check the status of their contribution immediately after clicking 'submit'. You can see when the title is queued for processing, when it has been accepted or, in the event of a rejection, you get a clear reason why. And if that reason involves a request for missing data or verification, there is a quick link to amend and resubmit your title contribution.

IMDb Contributor is still in Beta, so if you have used it and would like to provide feedback, we would love to hear it before we roll out the feature to cover more data types in 2015 (http://bit.ly/1718T4j)

Contributor Communities: In 2014 new and seasoned contributors and industry professionals have posted more than 7,000 topics on Get Satisfaction. From contribution questions to new feature requests, our help community has become an essential resource and is still growing.

We would like to extend a massive thanks to the Champs (https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/details/champions) - the heart and soul of the community. Between them they have posted more than 7,400 replies and comments in 2014, including fixing data on behalf of others and encouraging less experienced contributors to self-serve . If you think you have got what it takes to be a Champ, get posting. We would love to welcome you.

More thanks also go to our regular community of experienced contributors who frequent Contributors' Help, a board now dedicated to policy discussion. Over the year staff and contributors have worked together to decide and implement policy changes (like this distributor question: http://imdb.to/13Fimfh) and submission guide updates (like this recent Writers guide tweak: http://imdb.to/1zrPPTw). Of course, contributors don’t always see eye-to-eye and sometimes decisions are limited by existing functionality, but more important is that we have an active forum for this kind of debate. Your input is invaluable - again, thank you.

The Future: In 2015 we will continue to grow and refine the features we have launched in the last 12 months. We will add more data types and features to IMDb Contributor, so you will be able to check the status of contributions beyond just titles and episodes. We will make more data types available for mobile contribution. And our dedication to rapidly processing and publishing your data contributions is, of course, an ongoing priority.

Following the work to move most of IMDb to a platform capable of rapidly publishing accepted data items within minutes rather than days, we have scheduled one of the last major migrations to the same platform - the submission interface. Once in sync, you will be able to add new data to just-approved titles and names, without having to wait for the old once-a-day build cycle.

Continuing to build our working relationships with contributors is vital. Be it via Get Satisfaction or through clearer advice via IMDb Contributor, we want to continue to get better at two-way communication so we know that the features we implement are among the most desired, and the processes and interfaces we improve have the biggest positive impact for contributors. And that is why we urge you to get involved in our Get Satisfaction community, where employees from all over IMDb are looking out for and responding to your requests and ideas.

For example, not being able to sort title keywords alphabetically might not seem like a big deal to some, but for the contributors who want to audit and add hundreds of keywords at a time, this implementation was a must: http://bit.ly/1wwIBvl. And as already mentioned this much requested feature - now known as IMDb Contributor - will benefit everyone: http://bit.ly/1D38F7b.

If you have any suggestions for improving the contribution experience, ideas about new data sources for ingestion or different areas of focus within the entertainment industry (emerging markets, platforms and distribution channels, for example), please share them. Or if you like the sound of someone else's ideas, give them a 'me too'. Yours could be the idea that gets championed next: http://bit.ly/1CQbOtv.

We cannot really thank you enough for all your contributions. Without you, we would not exist. So on behalf of everyone on the Content team, here's to you, our contributors. And here's to 2015.

Thomas Porter
Team Manager - IMDb Database Content

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

Two big themes of 2014 have been around helping our customers to make viewing decisions and then helping them to find where to watch the titles they discover. As the number of titles available to watch grows, we are adding features to help you make sense of the viewing choices and to get more from your entertainment content. Thanks to your help we have made great strides in our coverage of TV titles in 2014 too.

Mobile continues to grow at an amazing pace and we are adding more content and features to our mobile platform with a steady stream of new app releases and updates to the mobile web site at http://m.imdb.com/. We have been very pleased by the response to our mobile apps and thank you for rating them so highly in the various app stores. Our mobile apps have now been downloaded over 100 million times. For details on the latest mobile apps see:

http://www.imdb.com/apps/

Video is also a growing area and we have launched a new video player on the web and added more videos to our mobile apps. This has enabled us to feature a number of exclusive trailer and other video premieres.

Our editorial team also worked tirelessly to keep IMDb full of fresh content each day around events, news, photos and trailers. This content increasingly includes recommendations and highlights based on the team's knowledge and love of all things movie and TV related. We also expanded our guest editor program in 2014 where celebrities provide the content for the IMDb home page for a single day.

Below is a month-by-month look at the highlights of 2014. Outside of these we are constantly making improvements, adding new features or retiring old ones based on your feedback. Even putting aside the continuous data changes, we almost never run the same version of the IMDb software on any two consecutive days. There is always something new launching, either visibly on the site or in the apps or a behind-the-scenes technology or process improvement.

The start of the year is always busy with awards season which is covered by our special section:

http://www.imdb.com/oscars/

with the 2015 season starting to be covered in our new Awards Central section:

http://www.imdb.com/awards-central/

which this year is available on the web and on mobile too.

In January we continued the migration of pages to our new technology platform to ensure faster publication of new data (and by December over 90% of IMDb's page views are now served on this new platform). We also fully launched our 'What to Watch' online interview show series which highlights movies and TV shows for our customers to watch with multiple episodes per month throughout 2014:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3412000/

The best place to find out about this show produced by IMDb is naturally on IMDb itself. January also saw a new all-time record day for page views on IMDb on the day of The Golden Globe awards (by comparison we served nearly as many page views on that single day than we did for the whole of 1997).

In February we launched new versions of our mobile apps to support live updates of results through the remainder of the awards season and new interface for browsing photos. We also added a 'Watch Now' section to highlight the latest releases on Amazon Instant Video:

http://www.imdb.com/watchnow/

In early March the Oscars ceremony saw IMDb's busiest ever minute when people watching at home reached for their laptops, phones and tablets to look-up Kim Novak when she walked on stage to present an award with Matthew McConaughey

IMDbPro is used extensively in the entertainment industry and in March we added the next generation of tools to help people in their professional life, starting with Pro Casting. This service allows casting directors and filmmakers to cast their projects by creating breakdowns and roles, finding matches for roles, building creative lists of talent with whom they would like to work and receiving and managing casting submissions. Actors and actresses using the service can browse hundreds of casting notices, filter them by specific criteria and apply directly for roles.

In April we added more features to help customers find where to watch titles via IMDb. This included US TV listings on the iPhone / iPad app and links to Amazon Instant Video. We launched a new monthly editorial recommendations section called IMDb Picks at:

http://www.imdb.com/imdbpicks/

In May we covered the Cannes Film Festival:

http://www.imdb.com/cannes/

We also improved the recommendations system so that on each title page we generate a better set of recommendations of related titles to watch. We updated our web site video player and added support for embedding the player on other web sites.

June saw one of my personal favourite launches of the year via the Movie Times feature in the iPhone app. This enables you to pick a movie to see in theaters based on genre, rating and other factors, as well as the times the movie starts or ends and even what time you should leave home for the theater.

In July we covered Comic-Con

http://www.imdb.com/comic-con/

In August as part of our on-going work to improve TV coverage and functionality in IMDb we added a 'Top Rated Episodes' feature to all TV /title/ pages, for example:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0903747/

We also added the next generation of the IMDb quiz at:

http://www.imdb.com/poll/v2/

In September polls were added to the mobile site and mobile apps and we launched a mobile version of IMDbPro, available by accessing https://pro-labs.imdb.com/ from any mobile device. We also added plot keyword relevance voting to surface the most appropriate keywords, for example:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068646/keywords

There was an amusing incident around Liam Neeson's IMDb headshot covered in the press in September too:

http://usat.ly/1ztosID

In October we began a fundraising partnership with The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences starting with a series of videos to promote the new academy museum at:

http://www.imdb.com/academymuseum/

We also replaced the IMDb video player for improved performance and compatibility across more devices. On the message boards we added support for the full set of Unicode Emoji.

November saw the launch of our new home page design and also the 'seen' service for tracking how many titles you have watched. Previously the only way to mark something as seen was to cast a vote but we realize that not everyone likes to give a specific score or can remember exactly what they thought of a movie or show seen years ago. You can track seen percentages on every name page and by title and by role. For example, how many movies in which Clint Eastwood acted have you seen:

http://www.imdb.com/seen/nm0000142-actor-movie/

Finally, in December we launched the 'seen' feature on the Top 250 and Bottom 100 pages:

http://www.imdb.com/chart/top

I managed to get to 250/250 just in time for the new IMDb profile badge for the 2014 Top 250 to be issued next week. We also improved the main site search to make it both faster and more tolerant of spelling errors.

We simplified and re-launched the Contributors' Charter at:

http://www.imdb.com/help/show_leaf?contributorscharter

With your help we will continue to innovate and grow IMDb with new features and expand the database across 2015. We are recruiting in the UK (Bristol) and US (Seattle & Santa Monica):

http://www.imdb.com/jobs

Traffic and Usage

The IMDb audience continues to expand and reach more people around the world on more devices. Your data contributions are once again seen and appreciated more widely than ever before, now by over 200 million unique customers per month on IMDb. Beyond this, you will find IMDb content being licensed and used on more services, especially on the Amazon Instant Video platform. The Amazon Fire TV uses IMDb data throughout its interface and inside the X-ray feature:

http://www.imdb.com/x-ray/

Earlier in the year we updated our marketing video with more numbers and some new celebrity testimonials showing how IMDb is used within the entertainment industry:

http://imdb.to/13FdC9B

For more details on IMDb generally, please visit our press area:

http://www.imdb.com/press

and see the 'IMDb in the News' section, including our annual 'Year in Review' section:

http://www.imdb.com/bestof2014

We would like to encourage everyone to get involved in building a bigger and better IMDb. We thank you for playing your role in filling the gaps because every type of data and every title is important in some way; see our Contributor Zone at http://www.imdb.com/czone/

We will be sharing this message widely and so if you have contributed any data in 2014, our gratitude applies equally to you.

Thanks and Feedback

In recognition of your contributions, as usual, we are offering everyone in the top 250 free access to IMDbPro for all of 2015. We will send a separate message with details and an access code within the next few days.

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome. Please join us in the Contributors' Help message board for policy discussions:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/threads/

or contact us via Get Satisfaction for more tactical issues:

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb

You can follow IMDb on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/imdb

and on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/imdb

Thanks and we wish you a Happy New Year!

Col Needham,
IMDb Founder and CEO
on behalf of the whole IMDb Team

Message for 2013

Introduction and Thanks

Welcome to the 19th edition of our end-of-year message to IMDb's top data contributors.

This message is being sent to the 250 most prolific contributors in 2013. It will also be shared widely such that everyone can appreciate your efforts.

As usual, we would like to extend a massive thank you for all your data contributions in 2013 on behalf of the IMDb staff and our 190+ million monthly visitors.

Earlier in 2013 we updated our marketing video with more numbers and some new celebrity testimonials showing how IMDb is used within the entertainment industry:

http://imdb.to/1bwvFeS

The Numbers

The table at the end of this message shows the number of approved, non-duplicate data items (including deletions / corrections) which you have contributed in 2013 and your position within the top 250 contributors.

In total there are now over 150 million items in the IMDb database, collected over the 23+ years since our launch in 1990.

Highlights from the 2013 numbers:

* over 2.7 million titles with over 350,000 added in 2013

* over 5.5 million names with over 600,000 added in 2013

* over 55 million filmography credits with over 7 million added in 2013

* over 3.7 million company credits with over 500,000 added in 2013

More statistics are available at http://www.imdb.com/stats - everything at IMDb starts with this content so thank you once again.

Progress and Plans

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

Overview: 2013 has been a fun and challenging year for database content. We have had a laser-focus on vetting and publishing data quickly. And we have now moved (or migrated) most of our content to a new, slicker database. These have been huge efforts, and we are finally seeing some of the benefits of all the hard work.

We are now processing more of your submissions daily, and we plan to get faster. Once we accept data, we can put it on the site almost instantly, whereas last year it took us over a day. We are actively checking and responding to policy questions and top contributor issues on the Contributors' Help board. And our updated X-Ray experience has enabled your data to be used in new and exciting ways.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued patience while we carried out the essential migration work. The above benefits are the tip of the iceberg, and the database content team will be leveraging this new platform to improve the contributor experience throughout 2014.

The Database Content Team: We have seen several new faces join the team over the year, and hopefully you will get to meet a few of them through regular correspondence via submission feedback, or via the Contributors' Help board. As mentioned we now monitor the CH board on a weekly basis, and we are constantly trying to improve the turnaround rate for answering questions and solving problems.

Get Satisfaction: None of this would have been possible without the launch of IMDb's Contributor Community on Get Satisfaction (http://www.imdb.com/help/show_leaf?getsatisfaction) for better handling of common submitter questions, leaving the board free for top contributors and policy discussion. A huge thanks goes out to the Get Satisfaction champs (https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/details/champions) for adopting the new approach so willingly. All our champs receive a badge on their user profile on IMDb, like the Emperor here: http://www.imdb.com/user/ur5268055/.

Data Processing Speed: We have come a long way since catching up with the traditional Christmas backlog in March last year and, despite some staff shortages mid-year, the team have been completely focused on processing your submissions as quickly as possible, within our agreed service levels at http://www.imdb.com/czone/times

Since September we have been consistently meeting our processing time targets and are in a much better position to prioritize and tackle the inevitable festive yule (back)log - hopefully that 'tradition' will be a thing of the past.

Technical Platform: Our main aim in 2013 was to make new data available to customers as soon as possible after receiving it. Since October, accepted cast and crew submissions have been going live within minutes, instead of relying on the once a day build cycle. Most of our data types have since followed suit.

To make rapid publish possible we had to complete the complex migration of all content to a new database. Following the migration of titles last year, we completed the migration of companies in February, names in September, events and awards in October, movie connections in November and contact details in December.

Our internal vetting tools have benefitted from a history view, which enables us to keep track of all changes to specific data items. And we have improved metrics on submission patterns and usage. Both of which allow us to make smarter processing decisions and prioritize the work and policy changes that will provide the maximum benefit to contributors.

Events/Awards: In November we completed the migration of event data enabling contributors to add new awards through the regular submission interface for the first time in seven years. We have already added more than 100 new events to the database, and contributors can request more to be added via the help desk (instructions at http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/flat/222024221).

X-Ray for Movies and TV: Following on from the launch of X-Ray for Movies and TV, powered by IMDb on the Kindle Fire HD in 2012 (http://www.imdb.com/x-ray), we have updated the experience for the launch of the Kindle Fire HDX. Now customers watching X-Ray enabled movies and TV in the US and the UK can see music, trivia, goofs, locations, crazy credits, connections and in the case of TV episodes, character information including backstories.

Over 60,000 contributors have provided content for X-Ray, 20,000 for the updated feature including more than 30,000 goofs, 47,000 soundtrack, and 57,000 title trivia items to name but a few. It is really exciting to see your contributions in front of a new audience.

The Future: 2014 is all about continuing to capitalize on the new-found flexibility of the database and improving the experience for you, our contributors, with better communication and smarter processing. We will be investing in tracking your submissions and giving you visibility into what is happening with your submissions.

We will also be kicking off the development of a new submission infrastructure in readiness for an overhaul of the submission interface, starting with mobile to make it easier for contributors to add data from anywhere.

From a content perspective we are focusing on improving our TV coverage on series and episodes. More images, more plots and much more key content to give the fans what they want in the run up to a new episode airing and on the day after broadcast. We are actively seeking new sources of information to automate the ingestion of this data, and any other content that would benefit customers visiting IMDb.

If you have any suggestions for how we can improve the contribution experience we would love to hear them. You can add your suggestions about our plans for 2014, or on any other aspect of contribution to the Content section on Get Satisfaction at http://bit.ly/1ge8Bqh - we need your ideas and feedback to help us prioritize the projects that will provide the maximum benefit to you.

Thank you all, again, for your continued support and contributions this year. Here's to 2014.

Thomas Porter
Team Manager - IMDb Database Content

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

We are pleased to have been able to serve our customers in 2013 with a steady stream of updates to the IMDb web site, the IMDbPro service and our mobile applications and mobile site. Our primary aim remains to provide the most convenient access to the world's largest source of entertainment information across as many platforms as possible. We want to help you to get more from your entertainment content (movies, TV shows, celebrities and beyond) by helping you to make viewing decisions beforehand, to enhance your viewing experience itself and to improve your understanding and enjoyment post-viewing.

Once again overall traffic has grown and, in particular, access to IMDb from mobile devices is growing the fastest. Our mobile apps have been downloaded over 80 million times and outside of this number IMDb also comes pre-installed on an increasing number of devices. For details on the latest mobile apps see:

http://www.imdb.com/apps/

If your preferred mobile device is not covered with an app, please visit our mobile site:

http://m.imdb.com/

More numbers on IMDb mobile are available:

http://www.imdb.com/pressroom/press_releases_ind/2013/12_19

Our editorial team also worked tirelessly to keep IMDb full of fresh content each day including events, news, photos and trailers. Thanks to your feedback we added more TV coverage in 2013 and will continue to do so in 2014.

Below is a month-by-month look at the highlights of 2013. In addition to the items listed, we are constantly making improvements, adding new features or retiring old ones based on your feedback. Thank you.

The start of the year is always busy with awards season which is covered by our special section:

http://www.imdb.com/oscars/

In January we switched our main /title/ pages over to our new technology platform which reduced the time between new data being approved to being published. We also launched the first episode of our online video series 'What to Watch' covering The Impossible (2012):

http://www.imdb.com/theimpossible

In February traffic to IMDb on Oscar day reached a new all-time high. We also made the new IMDbPro site at http://pro-labs.imdb.com/ available to all subscribers wishing to opt-in. The new IMDbPro site has a much cleaner design aesthetic and includes new interactive STARmeter graphs, a new photo lightbox viewer, and easier navigation across the site.

March saw the expansion of the X-ray feature to include TV shows as well as movies. Learn more:

http://www.imdb.com/x-ray/

We launched new user profile pages which consolidate each customer's biography, ratings history, lists, check-ins, movie reviews and message boards posts in one location. The new profile page also has social features allowing people who make their rating history public to compare their movie tastes and includes support for our new rewards badging feature, for example, badges indicating top data contributors and top review writers. Your profile is located at:

http://www.imdb.com/profile

and you can compare your ratings with mine:

http://www.imdb.com/user/ur1000000/

See also the announcement for this feature:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000040/thread/214323057

In April we continued to switch more pages into the new site design and also launched our first 'rapid publish' data type for celebrity death dates which enabled changes to IMDb data to be published live in minutes. We also added a section covering the Amazon Studios pilots:

http://www.imdb.com/amazonpilotseason/

In May we covered the Cannes Film Festival:

http://www.imdb.com/cannes/

and launched our Summer Movie Guide:

http://www.imdb.com/summermovieguide/

We also added support for custom avatars to profile pages:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000040/thread/214284965

June saw the re-launch of movie ticket sales on the IMDb web site in the US via Fandango. All showtimes in theaters which are part of the Fandango network now feature a 'Get Tickets' button so you can easily purchase tickets online. This functionality was expanded to our mobile apps in July.

Also in July we completed the launch of our new message boards interface as announced here:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000040/thread/216369194

In August we switched the video pages to our new video player which offers a superior playback experience and social sharing options plus add to Watchlist functionality, for example see:

http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi490449177/

We also re-launched the IMDb poll:

http://imdb.com/poll

with many new features and at an increased publication frequency. Special thanks to those of you assisting with poll suggestions and poll selections.

In September X-ray was updated to version 2.0 for the new Kindle Fire device launches and to include IMDb trivia and soundtrack information related to the scene in which they appear. For TV shows X-ray added character backstories to give you a deeper understanding of each show.

We also launched a new guest editor program with our first editor being Joseph Gordon-Levitt, details at:

http://www.imdb.com/pressroom/press_releases_ind/2013/09_26

and separately we published our second episode of 'What to Watch' covering 'Rush' at:

http://www.imdb.com/WTW/Rush

At The Toronto International Film Festival we presented Olivia Wilde with our first ever IMDb STARmeter award:

http://www.imdb.com/pressroom/press_releases_ind/2013/09_09

We added an 'Is this interesting?' feature to enable you to vote on how interesting you find certain pieces of IMDb content. These votes are now used to control the display order to show the most interesting first. For details see:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000040/thread/219611838

For October we launched a new navigation menu at the top of every page on the site which is designed to expose more features and includes dynamic news headlines along with a movie and star of the day. Also included in this launch was an expansion of our genre browser page:

http://www.imdb.com/genre/

In November we launched a redesigned biography page and added over 2 million automatically generated brief text biographies produced from underlying IMDb structured data to provide customers with an improved overview of each person.

In December we published another episode of 'What to Watch' at:

http://www.imdb.com/WTW/InsideLlewynDavis

We completed the 'rapid publish' support for all key title and name data to make even more sections live faster.

Finally, the 'Is This Interesting?' voting was expanded to mobile as part of a set of major updates to our iOS and Android apps.

Overall, the majority of pages on the web site are now in the latest design and running on our new faster technology platform. We will complete this work in 2014. We will also be continuing to innovate and grow IMDb with new features and expanding the database itself. We are now recruiting in Bristol (UK), Seattle (US) and Los Angeles (US) as covered on our jobs page:

http://www.imdb.com/jobs

Traffic and Usage

The IMDb audience has grown again, continuing to reach more people around the world on more and more devices. Your data contributions are seen and appreciated more widely than ever before now by over 190 million unique customers per month, up by over 30 million people in 2013. In addition to this you will find IMDb content being licensed and used on more services, especially on the Amazon Instant Video platform.

For more details please visit our press area:

http://www.imdb.com/press

and see the "IMDb in the News" section for sample coverage, including our annual "Year in Review" section:

http://www.imdb.com/bestof2013

We would like to encourage everyone to get involved in building a bigger and better IMDb. We thank you for playing your role in filling the gaps because every type of data and every title is important in some way; see also our Contributor Zone at http://www.imdb.com/czone/

We will be sharing this message widely so if you have contributed any data in 2013 and are not in the top 250 list below, we hope you will still appreciate that this message of thanks applies equally to you.

Thanks and Feedback

In recognition of your contributions we are offering everyone in the top 250 free access to IMDbPro for all of 2014. We will send a separate message with details and a special access code within the next few days.

We would like to share this note on the IMDb message boards and elsewhere. I will post it on 1st January so please let me know quickly if you have any issues with your details as shown in the table below being displayed.

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome - please join us in the Contributors' Help message board for policy discussions:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/threads/

or contact us via Get Satisfaction for more tactical issues:

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb

You can follow IMDb on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/imdb

and on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/imdb

A special note of thanks to those of you who do visit Contributors' Help or Get Satisfaction and assist in either shaping IMDb policy, reporting bugs in a constructive fashion or helping new contributors solve submission problems.

Thanks once again for all your support in 2013 - Happy New Year from IMDb!

Col Needham,
IMDb Founder and CEO
on behalf of the whole IMDb Team

Message for 2012

Introduction and Thanks

Welcome to the 18th edition of our end-of-year message to IMDb's top data contributors.

This message is being sent to the 250 most prolific contributors in 2012. It will also be published widely on IMDb and beyond so everyone can appreciate your efforts.

Once again we would first like to extend a massive thank you for all your data contributions in 2012 on behalf of the IMDb staff and our users.

In March we created a short video summarizing some of the numbers, along with celebrity testimonials which should give you an idea of how your data contributions are appreciated by our worldwide audience of over 160 million users each month:

http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2270404889/

The Numbers

The table at the end of this message shows the number of approved, non-duplicate data items (including deletions / corrections) which you have contributed in 2012 and your position within the top 250 contributors.

In total there are now over 130 million items in the IMDb database, making 2012 our biggest year for absolute growth in our 22+ year history!

Other highlights from the 2012 numbers:

  • over 2.3 million titles with over 300,000 added in 2012
  • nearly 5 million names with over 500,000 added in 2012
  • approaching 50 million filmography credits with over 6 million added in 2012
  • over 3 million company credits with over 400,000 added in 2012

Everything at IMDb starts with this content so thank you once again.

Progress and Plans

... From a contributor perspective by Rachel MacTaggart ...

Overview:2012 has been a year where we have continued to focus on upgrading our technical platform in conjunction with improving our workflows for processing submissions in a timely manner. We started the year with significant backlogs in a number of frozen data sections. Focusing our work on moving these data types to our most up to date data management toolsets in conjunction with clearing the backlogs were our top priorities. Improving communication with our contributors has been a goal for the year, but one where we recognize we still must continually improve.

The Database Content Team:Our team continues to be extremely passionate about our vision "to provide the world's largest, richest, most authoritative, trusted and up-to-date selection of entertainment content".

The data managers and the software engineers are working in an environment that enables continuous collaboration focusing on the following key areas:

  • Contribution (improving the contribution experience)
  • Coverage (ensuring we have the right data in a timely manner)
  • Smart Processing (improving our vetting workflows)
  • Operational Excellence (improving the quality of our software and services)

Technical Platform: We have continued to invest heavily on improving our data management tools. This work is extremely complex as we are maintaining an ever increasing number of live data items, continuing to process our contributor submissions, while concurrently performing the upgrade.

Each data type we move to our most up to date system benefits from Rapid Import -- a technology enabling user submissions to the database to arrive in our data vetting system in within minutes of contribution.

In early April we completed the migration of the following data types to the new system: soundtracks, locations, business, WGA, cast & crew completion, movie connections (simple types only), literature and company credits.

In May, we completed the work relating to our most complicated upgrade -- moving all of the 2 million live titles and corresponding processing tools into the new system.

In July, unfortunately we started to discover issues relating to the title matching within the new data management tools for titles. A number of issues were discovered from monitoring your posts to the Contributors Help board, where examples of duplicate titles going live in the database were described. The title management team continued to test and monitor this situation, working closely with the software engineers to investigate.

In August, whilst these investigations were ongoing, a subset of the team completed the migration of over 3.1 million company credits to the new system.

In October, as a result of the ongoing investigations into issues with duplicate titles, we made the difficult decision to temporarily stop processing the majority of new non-TV titles to the database (details at http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/flat/206399291). Several members of the team focused solely on addressing this issue. By mid-November the issues were resolved and the entire data management team focused on clearing the accumulated backlog of unprocessed titles. This backlog was fully processed by mid-December.

In the last quarter of 2012 we had several instances of contributor impacting issues. These included a major outage of our submissions system affecting updates of name related information and an outage of the characters functionality. As a result of this we have reviewed many of our internal processes for deploying contributor facing software updates.

Throughout the year we continued working towards meeting our service level agreements (SLAs) for the processing of submissions, as listed on http://www.imdb.com/czone/times#prioritization

We began 2012 with over 288,000 data items in backlog, which we had reduced to 34,000 by the end of February. For many weeks throughout 2012 we were able to meet our SLAs, however the timeframe where we stopped processing new non-TV titles significantly impaired our ability to meet these SLAs.

The IMDb database itself has grown at its highest rate ever, with 35 million data items added this year and it now contains over 134 million data items.

The Future: 2013 and beyond:

SLAs: As is the case every year, our first priority for 2013 is the processing in a timely manner of all user contributed data submissions to meet the SLAs.

Technical Platform: There are three focus areas

  • completing migrations: We will complete the migration of the remaining data types from older systems -- companies, names, events and complex movie connections.
  • filmography processing tools improvements: We will upgrade our tools for the processing of filmography credits.
  • rapid publication: We will commence work to move away from a daily build cycle to rapid publication of data immediately after approval by the data management team. This work will initially be implemented on a small number of data types in 2013.

Contribution: The team will continue to support our Contributors' Charter at:

http://www.imdb.com/help/show_leaf?contributorscharter

Smart-Processing: The team will continue to focus on improving the quality and speed of processing your submissions. We will continue to improve the SLAs to ensure processing times are reduced and your submissions are reflected online as quickly as possible.

Coverage: The team will continue to work to ensure that we have the correct data live in a timely manner.

Operational Excellence: We will continue to focus on ensuring that we improve the quality of our software and services.

We look forward to continue working with you, our contributors, in 2013.

Rachel MacTaggart
Manager - IMDb Database Content

... From a user perspective by Col Needham ...

This has been another remarkable year at IMDb as we seek to provide more ways in which to access the IMDb data and to build innovative new services. We want to help people get more from their entertainment content (movies, TV shows, celebrities and beyond) by helping to make viewing decisions beforehand, to enhance the viewing experience itself and to improve understanding and enjoyment post-viewing.

Before covering specifics, there are two overall highlights of 2012 outside of the aforementioned growth of the database:

#1 The launch of X-Ray for movies powered by IMDb. This feature enables anyone watching a movie on their Kindle Fire to discover which cast members appear in the current scene via a simple tap of the screen and then to read biography and filmography details on each person from IMDb. Learn more at:

http://www.imdb.com/x-ray/

Personally this is the feature of which I am most proud from our entire 22+ year history. It has revolutionized the way I watch movies at home due to the easy access to IMDb data in every scene without even leaving the movie. We hope you enjoy it too.

#2 The launch of our latest mobile applications at:

http://www.imdb.com/apps/

As 2012 drew to a close we launched major refreshes of our Android and iOS apps which have now been downloaded over 50 million times. We are also proud to be pre-installed on all Kindle Fire devices. Our mobile site at:

http://m.imdb.com/

also ensures easy access to IMDb content from any mobile device.

We updated the IMDb apps and mobile site throughout 2012 and as a result introduced IMDb to millions of new customers worldwide. More details are available at:

http://www.imdb.com/pressroom/press_releases_ind/2012/12_20

Our editorial team also worked tirelessly to keep IMDb full of fresh content each day including events, news, photos and trailers.

Here is a month-by-month look at the highlights of 2012. In addition to the items listed below, we are constantly making improvements, adding new features or retiring old ones based on your feedback. Thank you.

In January we celebrated IMDb pro's 10th anniversary and across 2012 we have been adding more features in preparation for the launch of a new IMDb pro interface. IMDb pro subscribers can test the new site at:

https://pro-labs.imdb.com/

We continued to streamline the account creation process by supporting simpler registrations using Amazon, Facebook or Google credentials. This has driven more engagement from users in the form of data contributions, votes, reviews, comments and Watchlist usage.

In February our Oscar coverage led to an all-time record traffic day with a 33% increase in Oscar day visitors compared to 2011. We expanded the popular lists feature to support video lists, for example, see one of my lists at:

http://www.imdb.com/list/nl8cfDPY_pU/#play-all

In March our site redesign continued with new pages for connections and crazy credits, see:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1375666/trivia?tab=mc

In April we redesigned the home page, eliminating some of the less popular features and launched our new video player. In conjunction with Relativity Media we also hosted the official site for the movie The Raven (2012) with a custom title page treatment. Relativity drove traffic directly to this page via promotion in TV ads and other advertising material.

In May we improved the "People who liked this also liked..." feature which shows recommendations on all title pages.

In June we launched a new trailer gallery page at

http://www.imdb.com/trailers

to better showcase our trailers following the launch of our new video player. We also made major improvements to the page loading times of many key pages on the web site.

In July we launched a new "Watch Bar" on our title pages to indicate whether each movie or show can be viewed online at Amazon Instant Video (US) or LOVEFiLM (UK and Germany), rented at LOVEFiLM, purchased on DVD/Blue-ray or be next seen on TV. We also upgraded the voting software such that ratings are now updated almost hourly on every title page.

In August we switched the commenting system on our popular user lists feature over to the Facebook social discussion plug-in to enable better social sharing and visibility of comments. We also launched a new ratings widget which can be added to other sites to display IMDb ratings, details at:

http://www.imdb.com/plugins

We added a new quiz game at:

http://www.imdb.com/games/guess

where you can test your movie and TV knowledge by creating interactive quizzes on top of filmography data, genres, awards and user lists on any topic.

September saw the launch of X-Ray for Movies as described above. We also began to send email notifications to all US users whenever a title on their Watchlist is released in theaters.

In October X-ray for Movies launched in the UK on the Kindle Fire for LOVEFiLM content.

In November we launched a new search engine on the website which is up to 10 times faster than the old one, has a cleaner design, is more scalable and searches TV episodes by default. We are currently tuning this search further based on feedback so please let us know if you find any specific issues. We also made many behind-the-scenes changes to the user lists system to speed up editing operations. The new lists system now attracts more new users per day than the old system had in total after 10+ years of operation!

In December X-Ray for Movies launched on the Nintendo Wii U for Amazon Instant Videos content in the US. We also launched our new customer support forum at:

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb

We will be continuing to innovate and grow IMDb across 2013 with new features for the site and the mobile applications, and of course, expanding the database itself. We are recruiting right now in Bristol (UK), Seattle (US) and Los Angeles (US) as covered on our jobs page:

http://www.imdb.com/jobs

Traffic and Usage

The IMDb audience has grown again, continuing to reach more people around the world on more and more devices -- computers, phones, tablets, e-readers and games consoles! Your contributions are seen and appreciated more widely than ever before by over 160 million unique users per month.

For more details please visit our press area at:

http://www.imdb.com/press

and see the IMDb in the News section for sample coverage. Don't forget to take a look at the Year in Review section of the site at:

http://www.imdb.com/bestof2012

which this year includes personal top lists from some of our industry friends plus staff and users -- great for finding movies and shows you may have missed!

We would like to encourage everyone to get involved in building a bigger and better IMDb. We thank you for playing your role in filling the gaps because every type of data and every title is important in some way. Join us in the contributor zone at http://www.imdb.com/czone/

and read the Contributors' Charter at http://www.imdb.com/help/show_leaf?contributorscharter

We'll be sharing this message widely so if you have contributed any data in 2012 and are not in the top 250 list below, we hope you'll still appreciate that this message of thanks applies equally to you.

Thanks and Feedback

In recognition of your contributions we are offering everyone in the top 250 free access to IMDb pro for all of 2013. We'll send a separate message with details and a special access code within the next few days.

We would like to share this note on the IMDb message boards and elsewhere. I will post it on 1st January so please let me know quickly if you have any issues with your details as shown in the table below being displayed.

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome -- please join us in the Contributors Help message board:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/threads/

or contact us via the feedback form:

http://www.imdb.com/helpdesk/contact_form

You can follow us on Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/imdb

and on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/imdb

or Google+ at:

http://bit.ly/imdb-gplus

A special note of thanks to those of you who do visit the Contributors Help board and assist in either shaping IMDb policy, reporting bugs in a constructive fashion or helping new contributors solve submission problems.

Thanks again for all your support in 2012 -- Happy New Year from IMDb!

Col Needham,
IMDb founder and CEO
on behalf of the whole IMDb Team

Message for 2011

Introduction and Thanks

Welcome to the 17th edition of our end-of-year message to IMDb's top data contributors.

This message is being sent to the 250 most prolific contributors to IMDb for 2011. It will also be published on our message boards and shared more widely on IMDb such that our growing community can appreciate your efforts.

As usual we would first like to extend a massive thank you on behalf of the IMDb staff and users for all your data contributions in 2011.

In October we celebrated IMDb's 21st anniversary and we'd like to share this video which gives an idea of how your data contributions are appreciated by our worldwide audience of both fans and professionals: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3880688665/

The Numbers

The table at the end of this message shows the number of approved, non-duplicate data items (including deletions / corrections) which you have submitted to the database in 2011 and your position within the top 250.

Some highlights from the 2011 numbers:

  • over 2 million titles with over 330,000 added in 2011
  • over 4 million names with over 500,000 added in 2011
  • over 41 million filmography credits with over 6 million added in 2011
  • over 2.75 million company credits with over 400,000 added in 2011
  • over 2.5 million release dates with nearly 400,000 added in 2011
  • nearly 4 million plot keywords with over 500,000 added in 2011
  • over 40,000 full movies and over 80,000 TV episodes available to watch online via IMDb from our total of nearly 400,000 videos

In total there are just under 100 million items in our database and the rate of growth is continuing to increase. Everything at IMDb starts with this content so thank you again. In recognition of this, we have just published our contributors' charter at http://imdb.to/contribc

Progress and Plans

... From a contributor perspective by Rachel MacTaggart ...

Overview: 2011 has been a year with many changes in the database content world. At times we were severely understaffed within the data editor team; this in turn impacted our ability to process contributions from our users in a timely manner. It was a poor contributor experience and proved a real challenge for the remaining team members. We can again only apologize for the impact this caused, particularly for the associated lack of communication while we were focussing our efforts on purely processing your submissions. We have since implemented many changes to ensure that we will not be challenged in the same way again. As of December the team was back to full strength and fully trained. The team are focused on improving the experience for all our customers, both contributors and consumers.

The Database Content Team: There have been significant changes within the team, including: opening a UK office; new faces joining those of us who have been here for a long time; sharing of knowledge; and many improvements made to how we operate. The team are all passionate about our vision "to provide the world's largest, richest, most authoritative, trusted and up-to-date selection of entertainment content". It's great to be working with such an engaged team!

We are now working in an environment which enables continuous collaboration between team members focused around the three following key areas:

  • contribution (improving the contribution experience)
  • coverage (ensuring we have the right data in a timely manner)
  • smart-processing (improving our vetting workflows)

Technical Platform: We have continued to invest heavily on improving our data management tools in 2011. This work is extremely complex as we are maintaining an ever increasing number of live data items, continuing to process our contributor submissions, while concurrently performing the upgrade.

The most complicated upgrade is related to our two million titles and it is on target to be completed in March 2012. We recently met two major milestones:

1) 100,000 (or 5%) of IMDb's live titles are now in the new management system. A key success here was that it has had absolutely no impact to the titles themselves on the site. For example, the two titles:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047677/

and:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053291/

reside in two completely different systems, but to our users they look the same, which is what we wanted!

2) We deployed software to enable the rapid import of new title submissions. This launched for a small subset of contributions, and redirected the data into the new system. Within an hour, one of you submitted a new title which arrived in our internal systems only minutes later instead of the next day. A team member was then able to approve it, and the title was exported with the regular site build that night and published live. This is a huge result for the team and a significant improvement for the contributor experience - this work reduces the time from a contributor submitting a new title to it being available for approval from an average of 12 hours to just minutes.

Introduction of SLAs for Content: We defined a number of service level agreements (SLAs) for the processing of content, listed on:

http://www.imdb.com/czone/times#prioritization/

Initially these were put in place to assist in prioritizing sections while the team was understaffed, and included the freezing of a number of data sections. The decision to freeze sections was not taken lightly, but it was the only way we could deal with such significant staff shortages. To be clear, while the processing of these data types was frozen, contributors could still submit to the affected sections, all of those submissions are queued up waiting to be processed in the future.

At the end of the 2011 we have resumed processing some of these sections. Locations, for example, has been entirely processed recently and brought out of its eight month backlog.

One of the factors we used to choose the sections we froze was based around the tools used to perform their data management. These sections utilized some of our oldest software which are extremely difficult, fragile and time consuming to use. We will be upgrading all of them in 2012.

The Database: The database itself has grown at its highest rate ever:

http://www.imdb.com/database_statistics

The Future: 2012 and beyond:

SLAs: Our first priority for 2012 is the processing of the waiting submissions for all of the previously frozen data sections.

Technical Platform: In 2012 we will complete the migration of all remaining data types from the older systems. We will have 100% of IMDb's core data in the new system where every submission will be available for processing within minutes. There are ten data types left to migrate (following on from the 40 already migrated), including soundtracks and locations.

Contribution: The contribution team have authored a Contributors' Charter at:

http://www.imdb.com/help/show_leaf?contributorscharter

to clarify how we work together to achieve the common aims of IMDb. There will be a far higher level of communication between the data editor team and our contributors. We will continue to make incremental improvements to the contributor experience.

Smart-Processing: The team will continue to focus on improving the quality and speed of processing your submissions. We will continue to improve the SLAs to ensure processing times are reduced and your submissions are reflected online as quickly as possible.

Coverage: The team will continue to work to ensure that we have the correct data on the site in a timely manner.

We look forward to 2012 being a year where the changes and improvements we have been making behind-the-scenes in 2011 are finally more visible to you our customers. Also where we will have the time to provide the level of service our contributors deserve, and where the technology improvements enable us to provide far better experiences for you all.

Rachel MacTaggart
Manager - IMDb Database Content

... From a site user perspective by Col Needham ...

We had our biggest, best and busiest year in 2011. Outside of the database content team, the other teams at IMDb build products and features on top of the massive database. We want to help people get more from their entertainment content (movies, TV shows, celebrities and beyond) both by helping to make a viewing decision beforehand or by enhancing the understanding and enjoyment after viewing.

Thanks to our increasingly popular mobile applications, we can even enhance the experience while you are watching a movie or a show! Across 2011 we updated our existing free apps and launched new ones, including the IMDb app for the Kindle Fire which is pre-installed on all new Kindle Fires. Details of our apps are available at:

http://www.imdb.com/apps/

IMDb apps are widely used, and including our mobile site at http://m.imdb.com/ more than 30 million users access IMDb on a mobile device each month. In 2011 we launched a trivia quiz app for iOS and IMDb Buzz, also for iOS, which is a news and photo focused app.

Recommendations were another theme for 2011. We launched the IMDb Watchlist in March to help our users easily track titles which they are interested in viewing. Every IMDb user can access their own personal Watchlist at:

http://www.imdb.com/list/watchlist

and millions of you are now using this feature. We added options to sort and filter results, integration with showtimes and launched a personalised recommendation feature on the IMDb home page based on your Watchlist interests and your previous votes on IMDb.

Our editorial team worked tirelessly to keep the site full of fresh content each day including news, photos and trailers. Check out the Editor's Spotlight section on the IMDb home page. Our editors covered major events starting with The Road to the Oscars:

http://www.imdb.com/oscars

and then onwards to festivals such as Sundance, Cannes and Toronto.

In January we launched a new critics' review feature on title pages using data from MetaCritic to provide an aggregate percentage score based on professional reviews. This supplements the IMDb user rating and helps you make more informed choices. For example:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1504320/criticreviews

We began an original video content series interviewing celebrities, the results of which can be seen at http://www.imdb.com/interviews

In February the night of the Oscars saw another all-time record traffic day. We added a new simple and easy discussion feature to all news articles and onsite videos. Later in the year we switched to using Facebook discussions for news articles. The LA TV station KTLA visited our LA office and broadcast a peek behind-the-scenes at IMDb at http://youtu.be/YNP5GhZHres

In addition to Watchlist, March saw the launch our instant suggestion search which displays search results as you type, making it easy and quick to find the most common names and titles.

During April we launched a Recently viewed items feature at the bottom of every page to improve navigation. We also switched to the new recommendation system for non-personalised recommendations on title pages. Our site redesign continued with the launch of new trivia pages, see:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499549/trivia

and with an update to the Contributor's Zone at:

http://www.imdb.com/czone/

In May we launched our updated showtimes section at:

http://www.imdb.com/showtimes/

with a new interface and support for 15 countries. We were a launch partner with Twitter for their new Follow button and added these buttons to over 10,000 name pages, including most top celebrities on Twitter:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005110/

June saw the launch of new message board snippets featured on name and title pages. We launched new Coming Soon and In Theaters treatments which highlight showtimes, message boards and critic reviews at the top of title pages for recent and upcoming movies:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1506999/

During July we launched personalized recommendations and added support for favourite cinemas to the showtimes feature. We added filtering by genre, title type and other attributes to both Watchlist and user lists to enable you to organize your viewing and more easily find titles to watch.

In August we migrated the old My Movies service over to the user lists system, enabling more powerful features and mobile access. We added an option to allow automatic sharing of ratings and Watchlist additions on Facebook.

For September we launched a Check-In feature to allow you to track what you are watching and share with your friends on Facebook. We replaced the old Now Playing section with newly designed pages:

http://www.imdb.com/movies-in-theaters/

http://www.imdb.com/movies-coming-soon

We will soon be adding the ability to browse back through historical releases on these pages to restore some lost functionality.

In October we added the personalized recommendations to the home page and released a new version of our goofs pages as part of our on-going design update, for example:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120338/goofs

I represented IMDb at the Lumiere Film Festival where IMDb was honoured at the birthplace of cinema in Lyon. It was exciting to be presenting our work in the house once owned by the Lumiere Brothers:

http://www.imdb.com/features/lyon/2011/

In November we launched a new navigation bar which provides a greater emphasis on the search functionality. We switched the display of non-personalised title recommendations over to the same interface as used for personalised ones on the home page. This enabled us to recommend many more titles in an easy-to-use interface.

Finally in December we launched our new trailer interface, for example:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1568346/#lb-vi3830160409

and in preparation for the 10th anniversary of IMDb pro in 2012, we opened limited access to our newly designed pro site at:

http://pro-labs.imdb.com/

We will be continuing to innovate and grow IMDb across 2012 with new features for the site and the mobile applications, and of course, expanding the database itself. We will be recruiting so keep watching our jobs page at:

http://www.imdb.com/jobs

Traffic and Usage

The IMDb audience has grown again, continuing to reach more people around the world on more and more devices. Your contributions are seen and appreciated more widely than ever before by over 110 million unique users per month.

For more details please visit our press area at:

http://www.imdb.com/press

and see the IMDb in the News section for sample coverage. Don't forget to take a look at the Year in Review section of the site at:

http://www.imdb.com/bestof2011

which includes the most popular names on IMDb in 2011 and many other lists.

We would like to encourage everyone to get involved in building a bigger and better IMDb. We thank you for playing your role in filling the gaps because every type of data and every title is important in some way. Join us in the contributor zone at http://www.imdb.com/czone/

We'll be sharing this message widely so if you have contributed any data in 2011 and are not in the top 250 list below, we hope you'll still appreciate that this message of thanks applies equally as well to you.

Thanks and Feedback

In recognition of your contributions we'd like to offer everyone in the top 250 free access to IMDb pro for all of 2012. We'll send a separate message with details and a special access code within the next few days.

We would like to share this note on the IMDb message boards and other places on the site. I will post it on 1st January so please let me know quickly if you have any issues with your real name/IMDb user name being displayed.

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome -- please join us in the Contributors Help message board:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/threads/

or contact us via the feedback form:

http://www.imdb.com/helpdesk/contact_form

You can follow us on Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/imdb

and on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/imdb

or Google+ at:

http://bit.ly/imdb-gplus

A special note of thanks to those of you who do visit the Contributors Help board and assist in either shaping IMDb policy, reporting bugs in a constructive fashion or helping new contributors solve submission problems.

Thanks again for your support in 2011 -- Happy New Year from IMDb!

Col Needham,
IMDb founder and CEO
on behalf of the whole IMDb Team

Message for 2010

Introduction and Thanks

Welcome to the 16th edition of our end-of-year message to IMDb's top data contributors.

This message is being sent to the 250 most prolific contributors to IMDb for 2010. It will also be published on our message boards and shared more widely on IMDb so that the wider community can appreciate your efforts.

As usual we would first like to extend a massive "thank you" on behalf of the IMDb staff and users for all your contributions in 2010.

I am pleased to be writing this at the end of the year in which we celebrated our 20th anniversary and also at a time where we have over 100 million users of IMDb each month. The video at http://imdb.to/epnNVg is from our anniversary and is equally a celebration of you, our contributors!

The Numbers

The table at the end of this message shows the number of approved, non-duplicate data items (including deletions / corrections) which you have submitted to the database in 2010 and your position within the top 250.

Some highlights from the 2010 numbers:

  • over 1.75 million titles with over 220,000 added in 2010
  • nearly 4 million names with over 470,000 added in 2010
  • over 35 million filmography credits with over 5 million added in 2010
  • over 5 million news articles from our NewsDesk partners
  • over 2 million company credits
  • over 2 million release dates
  • over 30,000 movies and over 70,000 TV episodes available to watch online via IMDb from our total of over 300,000 videos

We want to help our users find and discover new movies and TV shows to watch and also help them get more from titles they have already seen. The key building block for this is the content in the database. Thanks again to everyone -- we couldn't do this without you.

Progress and Plans

... From a contributor perspective by Rachel MacTaggart ...

2010 continues the trend of being extremely busy for all involved in the database content world - both for the members of the team and for our contributors too!

Backlogs: We have continued to make significant improvements with regards to avoiding sections going into backlog. This has been challenging as we have had a number of staff changes within the team, however, we are really pleased with the progress that we are making to ensure that submissions are vetted and processed efficiently.

Technical Platform: We have invested heavily in improving our technical platform. We were 20 years old in 2010 and some of our technology, while not quite that old, was in need of major improvements. We have taken data types in our oldest tools and moved them into our newest. This is critical as the work will enable some of the features we want to launch in 2011.

Awards Section: We made the difficult decision to temporarily close the awards section in April. This was an example of a data type that was in our oldest tools and moving it to our newest ones proved a significant task. It is now open for award nomination submissions for existing events/awards/categories and we have started work on the next stages of the reopening.

Unique Identifiers for Data Items: We did platform work to ensure that unique identifiers were in place for some of our data types (see our quotes sharing at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067992/quotes?qt0483192). We will build further on this work in 2011.

Simplified Submissions Interface: We did some work in May to simplify our main additions interface, particularly with a view to making it easier for new contributors.

Smart-Name Suggestions: We worked to improve the name suggestions provided when contributors attempt to add credits. The aim was to provide better matching based on the credits we already have live for names.

Rapid Import: At the beginning of the year we completed work to speed up the time it takes to get submissions into our internal vetting systems. Historically we only did this once a day. We have moved a significant number of sections to our new rapid import pipeline where submissions arrive in under 30 minutes. We are able to process priority content significantly faster as a result.

Contributor Metrics: As always, our contributors are a key part of our world and the number of contributors has been increasing month over month throughout 2010. We look forward to implementing changes that further support our contributors - existing, new and potential.

Contributor Data Policy Group (CDPG): We have set up a group with some of our prolific contributors to discuss our data policies with a view to making improvements.

Contextual Edit Buttons on Name/Title Pages: As part of the redesign we added edit buttons to the various sections on the name and title pages with the aim of making all users more aware that the content on IMDb can be edited.

Lightweight Login via Facebook: We worked with another team at IMDb to make it easier for users to sign-up and login to our contribution interfaces.

Showtimes: We have worked to improve the Showtimes experience at IMDb. As a part of this work, we have launched international showtimes on the iPhone app.

Contributor Zone and Submission Guides: Not only have we given these another facelift, we have also had the team reviewing all of the guides to ensure that they correctly reflect policy and that they are standardized for consistency and tone.

Unexamined Titles: We have made significant improvements in the last quarter of 2010 to reduce the number of unexamined titles. We have recognized for a long time that this has been a poor experience for our contributors and we are really pleased to say that this process has been eliminated. Now every title submitted to IMDb will be examined.

The Database: The database itself has grown at its highest rate ever this year. See specifics on the size of the database at http://www.imdb.com/database_statistics.

The Future: 2011 and beyond:

Database Content Team: We have set-up the team differently for 2011. We now have three groups dedicated to ensure we make progress in specific areas:- Contribution (improving the contribution experience); Coverage (ensuring we have the right data in a timely manner); and Smart-processing (improving our vetting workflows)

Where's My Stuff: One of our main goals for 2011 is to provide feedback on the whether a submission has been accepted or rejected. A significant amount of the platform work in 2010 has now made this a possibility.

We look forward to working with you all in 2011 and beyond.

Rachel MacTaggart
Manager - IMDb Database Content

... From a site user perspective by Col Needham ...

Everything comes back to expanding the content within IMDb and building new ways to search and access this content for as many people as possible. We have made great progress in 2010, particularly in enabling access from mobile devices. Some highlights ...

We updated the IMDb iPhone app including local translations in seven languages, international showtimes and adding an iPad version:

http://www.imdb.com/features/iphone/

we also launched an Android app:

http://www.imdb.com/features/android/

also a mobile optimised version of the site for other devices at:

http://m.imdb.com/

and finally a Windows Phone 7 app too. We will continue to enhance the features available on mobile devices in 2011.

We celebrated IMDb's 20th anniversary with a special section including celebrity video messages:

http://www.imdb.com/20

We also launched a new design in time for the anniversary on the home, title and name pages with work still continuing on applying the design across the rest of the site. Details in the FAQ at http://imdb.to/gkvBIY. At the same time we added a new "user lists" feature which is proving very popular (see http://imdb.to/gHQiwM). IMDb users are sharing their love and knowledge of movies, TV shows and celebrities via these lists and the results are being integrated throughout the site (my lists are at http://imdb.to/ggM7uK).

IMDb was one of the first sites to support Facebook's "universal like" feature which enables people to like names/titles/characters/etc directly on IMDb with the information then shared with their Facebook friends.

The old search technology was replaced as promised with a new advanced title search at http://www.imdb.com/search/title and advanced name search at http://www.imdb.com/search/name. You can also vote directly from the title search results and fill any gaps in your vote history. For example, titles from the top 250 which you have not yet voted upon:

http://imdb.to/gYYRJz

or movies with the most votes:

http://imdb.to/fRqNmn

We upgraded the trailer experience to support HD trailers and added a new page from which they can be browsed:

http://www.imdb.com/hd

Other new editorial features included pages themed around new releases such as http://imdb.to/f4GgGP, a new genre section for horror at http://www.imdb.com/sections/horror/ and the world premiere of the latest music video from Band of Horses at http://imdb.to/h4RDGH.

IMDb pro is widely used within the entertainment industry and some pro features were added to the www.imdb.com site. Professionals can add their Twitter and blog feeds to their pages as in:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0158632/

and also recently launched is the ability to upload demo reels. For a list of those uploaded so far, see:

http://imdb.to/fAOwnB

Early in 2011 we'll be updating the recommendations system, expanding our movie reviews section and adding an exciting feature to help you track the names and titles you have visited on IMDb. We have a busy year ahead with many further enhancements planned!

Traffic and Usage

The IMDb audience has expanded again, continuing to reach more people around the world and also now conveniently accessible anywhere thanks to the mobile interfaces. Your contributions are seen and appreciated more widely than ever with, as mentioned above, over 100 million unique users per month on IMDb.

We recently launched a press area at:

http://www.imdb.com/press

please see the "IMDb in the News" section for sample coverage. Also don't forget to take a look at the "year in review" section on the site at:

http://www.imdb.com/2010

which includes the most popular names on IMDb in 2010 via STARmeter and the best titles by your user ratings.

We would like to encourage everyone to get involved in building a bigger and better IMDb. We thank you for playing your role in filling the gaps because every type of data and every title is important in some way. Join us in the contributor zone at http://www.imdb.com/czone/.

We'll be sharing this message widely so if you have contributed any data in 2010 and are not in the top 250 list below, we hope you'll still appreciate that this message of thanks applies equally as well to you.

Thanks and Feedback

In recognition of your contributions we'd like to offer everyone in the top 250 free access to IMDb pro for all of 2011. We'll send a separate message with details and a special access code within the next few days.

We would like to share this note on the IMDb message boards and other places on the site. I will post it on 1st January so please let me know quickly if you have any issues with your real name/IMDb user name being displayed.

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome -- please join us in the Contributors Help message board:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/threads/

or contact us via the feedback form:

http://www.imdb.com/helpdesk/contact_form

You can follow us on Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/imdb

and on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/imdb

A special note of thanks to those of you who do visit Contributors Help and assist in either shaping IMDb policy (and now via the new contributor's data policy group), reporting bugs in a constructive fashion or help new contributors solve submission problems.

Thanks again for your support in 2010 -- Happy New Year from IMDb!

Col Needham,
IMDb founder and CEO
on behalf of the whole IMDb Team

Message for 2009

Introduction and Thanks

Welcome to the 15th edition of our end-of-year message to IMDb's top data contributors. We are especially excited to share this note with you as we enter IMDb's 20th anniversary year in 2010.

This message is being sent to the 200 most prolific contributors to IMDb for 2009. It will also be published on our message boards, contributor zone and blogs in order that the wider community can appreciate your efforts and share this note of thanks.

As usual we would first like to extend a massive "thank you" on behalf of the IMDb staff and users for all your contributions in 2009.

We have had a great year with record submissions, faster processing and more ways for your contributions to be shared with entertainment fans and professionals worldwide.

Whether this is the first or fifteenth time you have featured on this list, thanks again for helping to maintain IMDb's position as the biggest movie, TV and celebrity service in the world.

The Numbers

The table at the end of this message shows the number of approved, non-duplicate data items (including deletions / corrections) which you have submitted to the database in 2009 and your position within the top 200. New for this year is that we are now able to count user reviews (formerly known as "User Comments") in these totals.

We crossed several milestones in 2009:

  • over 1.5 million titles with over 200,000 added in 2009
  • over 3 million names (now 3.4M) with over 450,000 added in 2009
  • over 30 million credits (now 31.9M) with nearly 6 million added in 2009

Our video initiative ("a play button on every /title/ page") continues to grow with over 170,000 videos now available for US users, including over 6,000 full movies and over 15,000 full TV episodes to watch using free streaming via IMDb.

A total of over 320,000 different people contributed data in 2009. Thanks again to everyone for your data contributions -- we couldn't do this without you.

Progress and Plans

... From a contributor perspective by Rachel MacTaggart ...

2009 has been another extremely busy year for us here in the IMDb Data Team, as it has been again for our contributors!

Backlogs: 2009 has been our best year to date with regards to keeping lists from going into backlog. We continually work together as a team to minimize the number of disruptions that can occur from backlog situations. The only cases of lists going into backlog in 2009 are due to a few list manager vacations/illnesses (the majority of vacations received full cover). Our annual team meeting (which usually takes place in December) has been moved to the first quarter of 2010, to help further minimize disruptions around the holiday period. We are extremely proud as a team that we have been able to reduce the number of backlog related situations this year. This is a huge achievement for us as it provides a better experience for all of you.

Tool Improvements: We have continued to make improvements to the submission pipeline and the tools we use for managing your submissions. We are making inroads to move lists to our most up-to-date systems; however we recognize that sometimes progress can appear to be slow. We are making a huge investment to further build on this progress in 2010, targeting those lists that are in our oldest tools and moving them to the newest. This work has also enabled us to vet data more efficiently, improve data quality and consider opening up the submissions pipeline for more/new types of data.

Communication with Contributors: We continue to focus on communication with our contributors. A number of the team have now become more active on the Contributors Help board this year (Jon Reeves continues to coordinate there). We continue to engage in discussions with contributors via the helpdesk too. As was the case last year, we will build of this further in 2010.

Contributor Survey: In February, we launched our first ever contributor survey. Doing this gave us a real insight into what motivates our contributors. It has provided great value to help us determine what areas we need to focus on improving (and we recognize there is more than one but each small step we take, takes us together in the right direction).

Contributors Blog: We've launched a new Contributors Blog for keeping you informed about changes. We haven't been able to post to it as regularly as we would like, this is something we have definite plans for improving in 2010.

Longstanding Policy Questions: We recognized last year that we needed to find a way to start addressing longstanding policy questions. A lot of them have technical constraints, but every move we make towards moving our data out of the oldest systems brings an opportunity to revisit these types of issues. A number of the team are currently engaged in capturing what these questions are and our aim is to start engaging with you about them. We can't give an exact date yet, but early to mid 2010 is the estimate currently.

International Sites: We were heavily involved in launching submission based systems for all of our international sites. We now can support many of our contributors in submitting data in their native language. We achieved this by giving you the ability to add localized plot summaries and user reviews. These features have been rolled out on all of our international sites.

Homepage Newsdesk Widget: We collaborated with another team here at IMDb to improve the NewsDesk feature on the homepage of the site. NewsDesk is an example of us getting a feed of data from an organization/individual, and publishing it on IMDb. This work enabled us to improve the news features on the international sites too.

Structured Wiki Type Lists (aka Swiki): We put in place a better mechanism for dealing with issues reported to us which relate to these areas of the site (plot synopsis, FAQs, parental guides and character pages). We have seen a marked improvement as a result.

Contributor Metrics: We are now counting number of submissions to Swiki and User Reviews in the annual contributor metrics. This is something we have wanted to do for a long time. Now all your contributions count fully towards your end of year ranking.

Contributor Zone: In August we gave the Contributor Zone a face-lift, see http://www.imdb.com/czone/. It is something we have wanted to do for quite a while, particularly now that there is a link to it from the new site navigation bar.

The Database: The database itself has grown significantly this year; it has been a record year for submission volumes and database growth. Specifics on the size of the database can be found at http://www.imdb.com/database_statistics

The Future: We continue to look towards the future for IMDb and working together to continue to be the earth's #1 reference source for movie/TV/celebrity information. We couldn't do it without you so thank you again for all your hard work!

We look forward to working with you all in 2010, our 20th Anniversary year, and beyond.

Rachel MacTaggart
Manager - IMDb Database Content

... From a site user perspective by Col Needham ...

In addition to expanding the content on the site, one of the big themes in 2009 has been making IMDb more available in different locations and on different devices. Some highlights ...

We launched locally translated sites in four additional countries:

We also extended international functionality on these sites and our German site with news, message boards, user reviews and plot summaries. We'll continue to both add features to the existing sites and look at launching in other countries.

We are also expanding beyond the web. In December we launched a free IMDb iPhone app in the USA and we'll be launching the app internationally early in 2010. Details at:

http://www.imdb.com/features/iphone/

Similarly we'll be listening to your feedback and adding more functionality plus looking at other mobile platforms over the coming year.

IMDb content is now accessible on several Blu-ray titles from Fox. Viewers with internet connected Blu-ray players can call up live IMDb filmography information on-screen without leaving the movie. For details see:

http://www.videobusiness.com/article/CA6696133.html

Our twitter feed now has over 60,000 followers at:

http://twitter.com/imdb

and talking of Twitter, we have also started to include celebrity Twitter feeds on certain /name/ pages, for example:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005110/

Look out for IMDb on other devices in 2010 and watch for announcements on our Facebook page at:

http://www.facebook.com/imdb

Back directly on the site we've been updating the interface with a redesign of the navigation bar and the home page along with several other sections:

Independent Film - http://www.imdb.com/sections/indie/
Charts - http://www.imdb.com/chart/
IMDb snapshot - http://www.imdb.com/photo_galleries/new_photos/2009/index

We'll continue to improve the overall site design throughout the year.

In addition to expanding our video content, we also added new video search and browse options. The video search page is located at:

http://www.imdb.com/search/videos

where video search results can be refined by title, name, genre, title type and host site; plus sorted by several criteria. For example, all original "Star Trek" full episodes sorted with oldest titles first:

http://bit.ly/6ro4WU

or all trailers for Jennifer Connelly movies from the video provider Screenplay sorted with newest titles first:

http://bit.ly/6zjSo6

Our library of independent titles continues to grow thanks to our Withoutabox division:

http://www.imdb.com/features/video/browse/indie/

We have also implemented an experimental feature to connect IMDb data back to our video content. See the links attached to some of the quotes on:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0361748/quotes

As online video rights become more available internationally we will support a wider selection of video outside of the US.

Onto our NewsDesk feature and we now have over 200 news partners (see http://www.imdb.com/newsdesk/partner_list) with articles arriving continually and linked to the corresponding name and title pages in real time. We added a widget to feature news more prominently on the home page and also divided the news into channels:

We also now have local news featured on the home page for users in India and in the UK (in addition to the local news on each of the international sites).

Finally, our new advanced search is in the last stages of testing and should launch early in the new year. The new search is much more powerful and extendable so we know you'll like it.

Watch for more enhancements in 2010.

Traffic and Usage

Traffic and international reach have rapidly expanded as covered above, so again your contributions are being accessed by more people in more countries and on more devices than ever before. In November IMDb was listed as the 8th most influential site on the web by "://urlfan" as reported at:

http://bit.ly/8xGaQe (via Read Write Web)

IMDb even featured as a plot point in the 2009 Harrison Ford movie, Crossing Over, relevant quote at:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0924129/quotes

IMDb STARmeter and MOVIEmeter provide tracking data for entertainment professionals worldwide. You can read more about the top 25 STARmeter results for 2009 at:

http://www.imdb.com/features/rto/2010/starmeter

(and other awards at http://www.imdb.com/features/rto/2010/)

Also your user ratings are influential in helping people find the best movies/shows around, now with over 150 million votes. The top movies of the decade are listed at:

http://www.imdb.com/chart/2000s

It's been an amazing year (and decade). We celebrated IMDb's 19th birthday in October as described at:

http://www.imdb.com/help/show_leaf?history

and plans are underway for our 20th in October 2010. We still remain committed to providing the best entertainment service in the world. Again we would like to encourage everyone to get involved in building a bigger and better IMDb. We thank you for playing your role in filling the gaps because every type of data and every title is important in some way.

As we arrive at the end of the decade it's interesting to look back at these annual messages which are now archived on the site at:

http://www.imdb.com/czone/top_msg

For example, daily traffic in 2009 now exceeds monthly traffic as reported in the 1999 message and we added nearly as many new titles in 2009 than there were total titles on IMDb in 1999. Also great to see so many people appear in the top contributor lists year after year -- special thanks to the regulars there.

We'll be sharing this message widely so if you have contributed any data in 2009 and are not in the top 200 list below, we hope you'll still appreciate that this message of thanks applies equally to you as well.

Thanks and Feedback

In recognition of your contributions we'd like to offer everyone in the top 200 free access to IMDb pro for all of 2010. We'll send a separate message with details and a special access code within the next few days.

We would like to share this note on the IMDb message boards and other places on the site. I will post it on 1st January so please let me know quickly if you have any issues with your real name/IMDb user name being displayed or if you'd prefer your name hidden but are okay with your IMDb user name being displayed. We've made a note from previous years of a few people's preferences here and have applied them below already. When Jon Reeves returns for the New Year the list will also be added to the Contributor Zone at:

http://www.imdb.com/czone/

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome -- please join us in the Contributors Help message board:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/threads/

or contact us via the feedback form:

http://www.imdb.com/helpdesk/contact_form

A special note of thanks to those of you who do visit Contributors Help and assist in either shaping IMDb policy, reporting bugs in a constructive fashion or help new contributors solve submission problems.

Thanks again for your support in 2009 -- best wishes from IMDb for 2010!

Col Needham,
IMDb founder and CEO
on behalf of the whole IMDb Team

Message for 2008

Introduction and Thanks

Welcome to the 14th edition of our end-of-year message to IMDb's top contributors.

This message is being sent to the 200 most prolific contributors to IMDb for 2008. It will also be available on the "Contributors Help" message board on the site in order that the wider community can appreciate your efforts and share in this note of thanks from the staff.

As usual we would first like to extend a massive "thank you" on behalf of the IMDb staff and users for all your contributions in 2008. We have a couple of changes to the message this year:

  1. This letter has been co-written with Rachel MacTaggart who manages the team responsible for processing data contributions.
  2. We have once again extended the top contributors list, this time to the top 200, reflecting submission growth rates.

It's been another great year as the numbers below reveal and we continue to work hard to improve the submission process and to get your updates online as quickly as possible.

Whether this is the first or fourteenth time you have featured on this list, thanks again for helping to maintain IMDb's position as the biggest movie, TV and celebrity database in the world.

The Numbers

The table at the end of this message shows the number of approved, non-duplicate data items (including deletions / corrections) which you have submitted to the database since the start of the year and your position within the top 200. Again we are using the new counting method announced last year so direct comparisons with the 2007 totals are now possible, but not with earlier years.

There are now more than 1.3 million titles in IMDb with over 177K added in 2008 alone. Names are just short of 3 million, growing by over 300K in 2008, so over 10% of all names and titles were added in the last 12 months. Total credits (filmography and company) now exceed 25.9 million with record annual growth of over 5.2 million credits (approx 20% of all live credits were added in 2008). Character pages more than doubled to over 122K in 2008.

A total of 247,641 different people submitted information in 2008 making a grand total unique contributor count for the past 14 years where we have detailed comparable records of over one million contributors. Thanks.

Progress and Plans

... From a contributor perspective by Rachel MacTaggart ...

2008 has been a busy year - both for you, our contributors - and us, The Data Management Team.

Backlogs: We have worked hard this year to minimise the number of times that lists go into backlog. The only cases of lists going into backlog in 2008 are due to a few list manager vacations (the majority of vacations received full cover) or our annual team meeting . which took place at the beginning of December. This is a huge achievement for the team.

Tool Improvements: A large number of lists have been moved across to using our most up-to-date system for managing your submissions. There have been many benefits, both to the list managers and to contributors due to this work. This work has also enabled us to vet data more efficiently and improve data quality.

Mini Series Episode Support: In June we launched episode support for Mini Series. A project that was a long time in the making.

Contributor Bugs: We have started a process to better manage the resolution of contributor raised bugs. This process is still in the early stages, but we plan to build upon process throughout 2009 and beyond.

Mail Server: We replaced one of the oldest pieces of our internal data submission pipeline, the mail server, with a much more scalable, flexible system which will enable us to build a better user interface in the future.

Communication with Contributors: We have also focused more this year on communication with our contributors. I myself have been more active on the Contributors Help Board (where Jon Reeves continues to do a fantastic job). We are also contacting individuals and engaging in conversation via the Helpdesk. In 2009 we will look to build upon this work to further support you.

Policy Questions: We are also attempting to address some long standing policy questions. A number of discussions are currently ongoing and we look forward to having you involved in them.

The Database: The database itself has grown significantly this year - specific information can be found on the page:

http://www.imdb.com/database_statistics

The Future: We continue to look towards the future for IMDb and working together to continue to be the earth's #1 reference source for movie/TV/celebrity information. We couldn't do it without you so thank you for all your hard work!

We look forward to working with you all in 2009 and beyond.

Rachel MacTaggart
Data Team Manager

... From a site user perspective by Col Needham ...

The site software is updated continuously throughout the year, so much so that we almost never run two versions of the same site on consecutive days. New features and minor changes are deployed regularly so there's only room to cover selected highlights here.

In January we completed the acquisition of Withoutabox.com located at http://www.withoutabox.com/ and it's been great to welcome the team to IMDb and work on enhancements to both sites together. Whilst most things are related to industry and film festival usage, this new partnership has enabled us to add many independent short films to our video service (see later) at:

http://www.imdb.com/features/video/browse/indie/

In February we launched our new photo interface which allows better browsing of the hundreds of thousands of photos on the site. For example:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0970416/mediaindex
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000124/mediaindex
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000206/mediaindex
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm47879424/tt0970416

the new interface also permits faster turnaround on photo uploads and easier correction of labelling / linking errors.

In May we launched our updated news system, NewsDesk, which allows us to include news articles from providers all across the web, updated 24/7. We have a growing number of partners from general entertainment sites such as People.com, E!, TV guide and Total Film to specialised sites such as Fangoria, Syfy Portal, Twilighters Anonymous and Channing Tatum Unwrapped. For a full list of partners see:

http://www.imdb.com/news/

Articles are automatically linked to the pages of any titles or people which they mention, for example:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000142/news

Also in May we launched our official Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/IMDb/15925638948

which we hope to update more regularly in 2009 (although isn't that what most people say about their Facebook page :-). We also have a sample Facebook application at:

http://apps.facebook.com/imdb-birthday/

In August we made further updates to the site design as described at:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000040/thread/114237938

and these will continue in 2009 as we make the design more consistent.

The most significant new feature was the launch of full-length video on IMDb in September as announced at:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000040/thread/117834552

We already have over 6,000 full-length TV episodes, feature films and shorts accessible on the corresponding /title/ pages or via the video browser at:

http://www.imdb.com/features/video/

Counting trailers, clips and interviews we have over 25,000 videos with more being added daily. The aim of the video feature is to provide a "play" button on every title page on the site! IMDb started as a database of information about movies and has now reached the point where movies themselves are available on the site.

Also in September we updated our popular NowPlaying feature at:

http://www.imdb.com/nowplaying/

In October we celebrated our 18th birthday as described at:

http://www.imdb.com/18thbirthday

for those interested in extra background on IMDb, see this magazine article published around the same time:

http://www.totalfilm.com/features/the-story-of-the-imdb

or this New Zealand TV interview:

http://bit.ly/zmnx

In November we had a major launch in the form of the first 100% translated international site at:

http://www.imdb.de/

details and discussion at:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000040/thread/122109781

We will add more features from imdb.com to imdb.de and also hope to launch further international sites in 2009.

Also in November we rolled out the first component of our new search technology via an update to the MoKA keyword browser at:

http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Keywords/

more details at:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000040/thread/123113416

We're still in the process of applying this technology to the IMDb power search so we were not able to update that search in 2008 as intended, sorry.

To reflect the growing popularity in high definition video, we launched the IMDb blu room in November at:

http://www.imdb.com/features/thebluroom/

In December we announced the acquisition of Box Office Mojo, located at:

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/

Look for many developments on both sites as we work closely with the Box Office Mojo team in 2009.

Finally as 2008 draws to a close, IMDb is now available on twitter:

http://www.twitter.com/imdb

for details see:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000040/thread/124573576

It's been a busy year and we hope you have enjoyed the enhancements to IMDb in 2008 -- we're very excited about the plans for 2009.

Traffic and Usage

Traffic to IMDb continues to grow well and your contributions therefore reach an even wider, and increasingly more global audience. A typical day sees over 80 million page views and peak traffic days such as awards and special occasions often see over 100 million page views. This Sunday (28th) we served nearly 98 million page views. Our monthly unique visitor count is over 57 million people.

You can read more about the top people searches in 2008 at:

http://www.imdb.com/features/rto/2009/starmeter

and top movie searches at:

http://www.imdb.com/features/poweroffilm/

or catch-up with end-of-year awards at:

http://www.imdb.com/features/rto/2009/

IMDb was even mentioned by Oscars host Jon Stewart during the Academy Awards ceremony in February when he introduced Nicole Kidman to present an award.

It's been a fun, challenging and interesting year for the team. We remain dedicated to providing the best source for movie/TV/celebrity information in the world. Again we would like to encourage everyone to get involved in building a bigger and better IMDb. We thank you for playing your role in filling the gaps because every type of data and every title is important in some way.

I'll be sharing this message on the IMDb boards so if you have submitted any data in 2008 and are not in the top 200 list below, I hope you'll still appreciate that this message of thanks applies to you as well.

Thanks and Feedback

In recognition of your contributions we'd like to offer everyone in the top 200 free access to IMDb pro for all of 2009. I'll send a separate message with details and a special access code within the next couple of days.

I would like to share this message on the "Contributors Help" message board as usual. I will post it on 1st January so please let me know quickly if you have any issues with your real name/IMDb user name being displayed on the site or if you'd prefer your name hidden but are okay with your IMDb user name being displayed. I've made a note from previous years of a few people's preferences here and have applied them below already. When Jon Reeves returns for the New Year the list will also be added to the Contributors Zone at:

http://www.imdb.com/czone/

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome -- please join us in the "Contributors Help" message board:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/threads/

or contact us via the feedback form:

http://www.imdb.com/helpdesk/contact_form

A special note of thanks to those of you who do visit "Contributors Help" and assist in either shaping IMDb policy, reporting bugs in a constructive fashion or help new contributors solve submission problems.

Thanks again for your support in 2008 -- best wishes from IMDb for 2009!

Col Needham,
IMDb founder and managing director
on behalf of the whole Internet Movie Database Team

Message for 2007

Introduction and Thanks

Welcome to the 13th edition of my end-of-year message to IMDb's top contributors. We are counting things differently this year through a new, more fair measure of a contribution which I will explain below. First though, the usual background ... this message is being sent to the 175 most prolific contributors to IMDb for 2007. It will also be available on the "Contributors Help" message board on the site in order that the wider community can appreciate your efforts and share in this note of thanks from the staff.

Once again I'd like to express a huge "thanks" to you all on behalf of the IMDb staff and users for all your contributions in 2007. It's been another record year for submissions -- growth rates continue to amaze us as well as make us work harder than ever to get your updates online as quickly as possible! In recognition of the submission growth the top contributors list has been extended from 150 to 175 people.

Whether this is the first or thirteenth time you have featured on this list, thanks again for helping to keep IMDb's position as the biggest movie, TV and celebrity database in the world.

The Numbers

Now that we have nearly completed the migration of all our data sections over to our new processing system, we can count contributions more accurately. We are now able to count in terms of items which have been approved by the data management team. In previous years we counted raw items submitted which could also include

  1. items which were rejected owing to questionable accuracy or a misunderstanding of the rules or which otherwise remained unapproved by the data management team
  2. an unfair advantage to contributors making tiny corrections to some of the text based data sections (eg: biographies and trivia)
  3. certain classes of duplicate submissions

The table at the end of this message shows the number of approved, non-duplicate data items (including deletions / corrections) which you have submitted to the database since the start of the year and your position in the top 175. The lower numbers also reflect other changes in the counting methodology / definition of an item so do not worry if your total has declined year over year. The changes were applied universally and fairly across all contributors. On the other hand, the numbers also include character filmography submissions -- even though this data does not pass through the traditional data submission pipeline, we are viewing it as core database content and counting it accordingly. In summary, it's best to look at your rank within the top 175 rather than the approved item count, as even people who have submitted more data than ever and had 100% of it approved may see lower absolute approved item counts.

For reference, using the old counting system there were 30,559,866 raw submitted items in 2007 which is an increase of over 4 million items compared to 2006. This number would have been higher except that we introduced a 14 day wait period on most resubmissions towards the end of the year.

In 2007 we built upon the TV episode launch from 2006. As expected the percentage growth rates between 2007 vs 2006 and 2006 vs 2005 were smaller, however, the massive size of the absolute numbers still amazed us. We added our 1 millionth title in 2007 and the end-of-year count stands at over 1,135K titles, growing by over 210K titles. The 2007 growth in titles is almost the same total number of titles as we collected between 1990-1999! New names grew by over 265K to 2,681K today. The really scary (in a nice way :-) growth came in the number of live filmography credits which grew by over 4,920K to stand at over 19,329K today. Company credits grew by 235K to 1,337K resulting in a name + company filmography count of over 20,668K credits.

A total of 270,830 different people submitted information in 2007 making a grand total unique contributor count for the past 13 years where we have detailed comparable records of over 940K contributors.

Progress and Plans

...From a contributor perspective...

The data management team continued the 2006 progress and were able to maintain almost backlog free processing throughout the year, despite the increased submission volumes. We did have the occassional section in backlog, although such instances were mostly holiday related. Thanks to improved sharing of expertise, many sections remained backlog free even during section manager holiday periods. More data sections moved into the latest generation of processing support software and this software itself was improved and updated across the year. This all combined to further reduce processing times -- the majority of sections are processed either partially or completely on a daily basis. We are processing more data more quickly than ever before. It's worth specifically mentioning that new name processing switched to a daily processing schedule towards the end of 2007. This has made a significant impact in the time it takes credits for new names to be processed and approved.

As covered above, one nice side effect of these processing changes is the new submission counting methodology. Once the remaining sections are converted to the new processing system, we should be in a position to publish a live submission ranking / "thanks" page on the site at least on a monthly basis and eventually on a daily basis. This will also allow us to recognise people outside of the top 175.

During 2007 we were able to split several new sections from miscellaneous crew, starting with the camera/electrical department; continuing with animation, costume, transportation, editorial, casting and thanks departments; and ending with the music department. The groundwork for the next round of splits has already been implemented and we will continue moving job categories out of the miscellaneous section where it makes sense and both time/volume permit.

We made many improvements to the data submission interface: eliminating some long standing bugs; reducing or lifting several "experience" checks; blocking needless resubmissions; and implementing the filmography re-routing system which attempts to move credits to the correct department if the contributor makes an error. We have begun some long term work on the next generation submission system, aiming for a 2009 launch.

We continued to collect, process and display massive amounts of TV related information so coverage holes are disappearing fast there. Once again special thanks to those of you who have been helping migrate accurate data from the TV-series level down to the specific individual episodes.

We crossed a number of milestones in terms of coverage across the year, including those mentioned above and also 1 million producer credits, 1 million external title URLs, 75K goofs and 300K quotes. For details see the latest database statistics page at:

http://www.imdb.com/database_statistics

Once again it is vital to note that as well as focussing on processing the increased quantity of submissions, the quality / accuracy of the submissions is of even greater importance to IMDb. The new submission counting methodology is another example of this in action during 2007. We're still not perfect but we are still trying our best. A final reminder that as the database becomes more complete it consumes more effort to process even the same number of submissions since more work is required to cross-check new submissions against existing data.

...From a site user perspective...

The software development team are continually improving the web site software and a new feature or a minor change usually goes live almost every single day of the year. Even excluding data changes, we therefore almost never run two versions of the same site on consecutive days.

The big change in 2007 was the launch of the redesigned /title/ and /name/ pages in February and the on-going design updates across the year. We still have further changes in the pipeline, thanks if you provided feedback via the redesign threads on the message boards. The redesign has especially helped casual users discover sections outside of the core credit listings. In the old design many users were unaware that we included much beyond basic cast and crew information, whereas post-redesign we've seen massive improvements in traffic to name and title subpages, for example, keywords, awards, movie connections, soundtracks and release dates. This means that a larger number of people see your contributions outside of the filmography sections and those sections attract more submissions.

The addition of posters and head shots to the main search results proved popular and helped people locate names and titles quickly. We also launched the new trailer player which streamlined the viewing process and also enabled better linkage on the /title/ pages. For example see the "Videos" section on:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0465538/

The "related links" sections at the bottom of most /title/ subpages also helped people navigate to new areas of the site

Early in 2008 we'll be launching a redesigned photo section which will enable better photo browsing and searching. Please look for the links to the beta version of new photo section on the site in January. An added benefit of the new interface is that we should be able to correct errors in photo labelling / associated names easily once this work is complete.

In June we launched both plot synopsis and parents guide sections, building upon the technology behind the FAQ section. Both have proved popular and useful additions to the site. For a great example of a complete plot synopsis see this one for a favourite film of mine, 'North by Northwest (1959)'

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053125/synopsis

or for a full "parents guide" view of 'Hot Fuzz (2007)' see

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0425112/parentalguide

In October we launched the character page feature, starting with an initial launch set of 28,000+ of the most popular characters with character #1 at:

http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0000001/

and in less than 3 months we have over 50K characters, character #50,000 was added a couple of weeks ago:

http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0050000/

Thanks to those of you who have specifically focussed on submitting character updates and have helped make the feature one of the most successful and popular feature launches in IMDb history.

In addition to many behind-the-scenes performance and stability improvements to the message board system, we also launched the requirement that new users need to authenticate their account before they can post. This has improved the overall user experience on the boards and reduced trolling attacks.

Finally, in December we launched the IMDb widget, enabling people to embed lists of names and titles on their own sites with basic IMDb info, with links back to the complete IMDb detail pages. For details please see:

http://www.imdb.com/widgets/

Looking forward in 2008, in addition to the items mentioned already, we will shortly be adding episode support for mini-series, allowing better support for this title type. The majority of the implementation work has already been completed as some of you have noticed via the Contributors Help message board.

Later in the year we will be replacing the oldest search software on the site with a newer sophisticated version. This will eliminate the issues with the power search on the current site. Also for users outside of English speaking countries, watch out for better "international" support throughout IMDb!

Traffic and Usage

Traffic to the site has grown well across the year and your contributions are visible to a larger audience than ever. This Friday (28th) saw another record day for traffic to the consumer site with over 83 million page views (outside of busy award days where the record is over 87 million). A typical day sees over 70 million page views and well over 50 million unique users visit the site across each month. Our 2007 page view total is over 25 billion pages.

Looking forward to 2008 and October will mark our 18th birthday. April 2008 will also mark the 10th anniversary of IMDb becoming part of the Amazon.com group of companies. Many members of the original IMDb team from the early 1990s are still here and part of staff, sometimes managing the same sections which they created in the first place. It's still fun and challenging as I always say at this point in the message. We remain dedicated to providing the best source for movie/TV/celebrity information in the world. The new sections opened in 2007 have created extra space for future submissions and we would like to encourage everyone to get involved in building a bigger and better IMDb. We thank you for playing your role in filling the gaps as every type of data and every title is important in some way.

I'll be sharing this message on the IMDb boards so if you have submitted any data in 2007 and are not in the top 175 list below, I hope you'll still appreciate that this message of thanks applies to you as well.

Thanks and Feedback

In recognition of your contributions we'd like to offer everyone in the top 175 free access to IMDb pro for all of 2008. I'll send a separate message with details and a special access code within the next couple of days.

I would like to share this message and the list below on the "Contributors Help" message board as usual. I will post it on 1st January so please let me know quickly if you have any issues with your real name/IMDb user name being displayed on the site or if you'd prefer your name hidden but are okay with your IMDb user name being displayed. I've made a note from previous years of a couple of people's preferences here and have applied them below already. The list will also be added to the Contributors Zone at:

http://www.imdb.com/czone/

once Jon Reeves returns for the New Year.

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome -- please join us in the "Contributors Help" message board:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/threads/

or contact us via the feedback form:

http://www.imdb.com/contact

A special note of thanks to those of you who do visit "Contributors Help" and assist in either shaping IMDb policy, reporting bugs in a constructive fashion or help new contributors solve submission problems.

Thanks again for your support in 2007 -- best wishes from IMDb for 2008!

Col Needham,
IMDb founder and managing director
on behalf of the whole Internet Movie Database Team

Message for 2006

Introduction and Thanks

Welcome to the 12th(*) edition of my end-of-year message to IMDb's top contributors. This message is being sent to the 150 most prolific contributors to the database for 2006. It will also be available on the Contributors Help message board on the site in order that the wider community can appreciate your efforts and share in this note of thanks from the staff.

As usual I'd like to start with a huge "thanks" to you all on behalf of the IMDb staff and users for all your contributions in 2006. It's been a busy year with many changes. Submission volumes have risen significantly as has the number of contributors, and in recognition of these increases, this distribution list has been expanded from the top 100 to the top 150.

(*) If you read last year's message you may have noticed that we appear to have skipped straight from the 10th to the 12th edition this year. I am grateful to IMDb staff member Oliver Heidelbach who unearthed the very first message from 1995 shortly after I emailed the 10th anniversary message last year. After doing some research I traced the error back to my 1999 message which I announced as the 4th when in fact it was the 5th -- sorry.

Anyway, whether this is the 12th, 11th or even the first time you have featured on this list, thanks again for helping to keep IMDb's position as the biggest movie and TV database in the world!

The Numbers

The table at the end of this message shows the number of data items you've submitted to the database since the start of the year and your position in the top 150. This was a record year for both total submissions and year-over-year growth rates so it requires a massive number of submissions to be listed here. A minimum of 19,636 items was required to make the top *150* compared to 20,190 items to make the top *100* in 2005; for a direct comparison the top 100 minimum in 2006 was 32,884. An item count of 19,636 would have placed you at #9 in the 1995 end-of-year results.

Submissions for 2006 totalled 26,510,441 items which is an increase of over 10M items compared to the submissions for 2005 (the increase in 2006 is relatively close to the entire submission count of 12.7M in 2004 and exceeds every year prior to 2004). The primary driver for this growth was the launch of full TV episode support early in the year. This had a major impact upon the number of new titles added across the year, with the end-of-year title count standing at over 900K, growing by over 400K titles (even excluding episodes, title growth was still over 50K). New names grew by nearly 400K too, standing at over 2.4M today. Filmography credits grew by over 3.5M to 14.4M. The 2006 *growth* in filmography credits is more than the *total* number of filmography credits which we had collected in our entire first 10 years from 1990-1999 (the 1999 message records 3.2M live filmography credits). Company credits also surpassed 1M in 2006, giving a total name + company filmography count of nearly 15.5M.

A total of 268,708 different people submitted information in 2006 which is nearly 70K more than in 2005. The grand totals over the (now) 12 years where we have detailed comparable records are that over 750,000 people have submitted more than 96 million items of data.

Progress and Plans

As noted already, one of the biggest changes to the IMDb in 2006 was the launch of full episode support. The conversion is still an on-going process and we have further enhancements to make into 2007, particularly in the way in which information at the TV-series level is summarised from the specific episodic data. Special thanks to those of you helping to migrate data down to specific episodes. We have a growing number of series where every episode is completely covered (or fairly close), for example:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092455/fullcredits

It's still early days for TV coverage and TV functionality so stay tuned (sorry :-) for further updates. As part of the on-going improvements, we added US TV schedules to the revamped IMDb TV section at:

http://www.imdb.com/sections/tv/

The other big news from a data contribution perspective was the elimination of processing backlogs in the last few remaining sections. We have been operating backlog free for the entire second half of the year. This is the result of lots of hard work / long hours by the data management team and is even more amazing when you consider that submission volumes are up 60% on last year. We've been able to expand the staff and improve processing support tools to make everything more efficient. More sections are completely clear of any waiting data by the end of each working day and even the worst case delays are mostly around the 7 day mark. We will continue to improve all processing times in 2007 and work towards further reducing worst case times. In particular there are improvements in the pipeline for new titles and awards.

We continued to move more data sections into the next generation processing environment to enable more daily updates. After a shaky start, we completed this move for filmography data in February and we are now reaping the benefits of faster processing and daily updates in this key area of our data. This in turn enabled better sharing of tasks and cover for holidays across more sections such that we remained out of backlog in most areas even during the summer months. Obviously owing to a large number of well earned end-of-year holidays, there will be some delays heading into 2007, however, we are well positioned for a quick catch-up.

The master name and title files are now published on a daily basis which has helped reduce processing times whenever new names or titles are included in a submission.

In July we added a new "soundtrack" section to the /name/ pages which summarises the soundtrack song credit data and eliminates the need to duplicate song composers, lyricists, performers, producers etc in the composers and miscellaneous crew sections. The song credits can now be submitted once to the soundtrack section and will be visible on the /name/ pages too. For example:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000187/

Special thanks to those of you helping to move the historical data from the composers / miscellaneous sections to the soundtrack section.

We crossed a number of milestones in terms of coverage across the year. In addition to those already mentioned, these include over 1M release-dates, 1M plot keywords, 250K quotes and 100K trivia. For more details see the latest database statistics page at:

http://www.imdb.com/database_statistics

Once again it is vital to note that as well as focussing on processing the increased quantity of submissions, the quality / accuracy of the submissions is of even greater importance to IMDb. We have made further process improvements in 2006 to assist us in this area as well as broadening our internal expert film knowledge via our new recruits. We have better tools to detect manipulation and better tools to quickly correct and publish the inevitable mistakes. We realise we can never be perfect but we are certainly trying hard! Another important point to remember is that as the database becomes more complete it consumes more effort to process even the same number of submissions since more work is required to cross-check new submissions against existing data.

Also of note, we reorganised the data processing team internally and have changed our approach in a few key areas. We're better positioned now to make regular incremental improvements to the submissions interface. We have begun to eliminate many long-standing bugs or annoying features which previously would not have been significant enough on an individual basis to merit attention. We switched the DVD data over to the much more complete and regularly updated Amazon catalog. Over on the IMDb pro site we made changes to the agent / contact information for our industry professional subscribers.

As you may appreciate from the above, it has been a hectic year for us all. My biggest regret is not being able to launch the next round of new filmography sections by spinning off specific departments or jobs from the miscellaneous crew section. We have done almost all the work required to launch the first new section, however, it was too risky to launch such a major change so close to the holidays. In the very early days of 2007 we will be launching a combined camera / electrical department which is long overdue for separation. It has been a long time since we have created any new filmography sections so please be patient whilst we address all the issues. Once the process has been refined, we will work on the next round of filmography splits, most likely in the late January / early February timeframe.

It has been a busy year for site changes outside of the database content. The design team has been releasing a series of incremental improvements to the look and feel of the site. This has included the new navigation bar at the top of each page and a switch to a consistent placement of the main search form. The addition of the photo strips to name and title pages proved immensely popular with users in general, as did the addition of the tiny headshots to the /title/ page cast lists (copying a popular IMDb pro feature). We redesigned the independent film section at:

http://www.imdb.com/indie/

We were thrilled to participate in the launch of Amazon Unbox service which provides digital downloads for a growing number of movies and TV-shows. As a movie buff it's always been a long term wish of mine to be able to look-up any title on IMDb and then instantly start to watch it. This makes for the perfect tool to enthrall the next generation with the world of film, both classic and new. We have digital download buttons in the "shop" area of title pages from old favourites:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032599/

to new-to-video titles:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0348150/

We've also expanded the type of content on the site in many different areas. Of particular note is the IMDb resume service which allows people in the industry to better market themselves and their talents, especially if they do not already have any eligible credits. A new site technology is also enabling us to expand content types rapidly. The new title based FAQs are growing in popularity and adding a new depth of content to many titles. I stumbled upon this one earlier today:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0209144/faq

We have many more features and enhancements planned for 2007 and I look forward to reviewing them here next year.

Traffic and Usage

We are also very pleased with the growth in traffic to the site and therefore how widely viewed your contributions have become. This Thursday (28th) was a record day for traffic to the consumer site with over 72 million page views (outside of busy award days where the record is over 78M). A typical day sees over 60M page views and over 42 million unique users visit the site across each month. Our 2006 page view total is over 20 billion pages.

We've seen many changes during the past 16 years and it still remains as fun and challenging for us as it was 1990. We remain dedicated to providing the best source for movie/TV/celebrity information in the world. It seems there's still as much new data to collect and organise as there was when we started, especially now with the extended TV data coverage. We thank you for playing your role in filling the gaps as every type of data and every title is important in some way.

I'll be sharing this message on the IMDb boards so if you have submitted any data in 2006 and are not in the top 150 list below, I hope you'll still appreciate that this message of thanks applies to you as well.

Thanks and Feedback

In recognition of your contributions we'd like to offer everyone in the top 150 free access to IMDb pro for all of 2007. I'll send a separate message with details and a special access code within the next couple of days.

I would like to share this message and the list below on the Contributors Help message board as usual. I will post it on 1st January so please let me know quickly if you have any issues with your real name/IMDb user name being displayed on the site or if you'd prefer your name hidden but are okay with your IMDb user name being displayed. I've made a note from previous years of a couple of people's preferences here and have applied them below already. The list will also be added to the Contributors Zone at:

http://www.imdb.com/czone/

once Jon Reeves returns for the New Year.

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome -- please join us in the Contributors Help message board:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/threads/

or contact us via the feedback form:

http://www.imdb.com/contact

A special note of thanks to those of you who do visit the Contributors Help board and assist in either shaping IMDb policy, reporting bugs in a constructive fashion or help new contributors solve submission problems.

Thanks again for your support in 2006 -- best wishes from IMDb for 2007!

Col Needham,
IMDb founder and managing director
on behalf of the whole Internet Movie Database Team

Message for 2005

Introduction and Thanks

Welcome to the tenth edition of my end-of-year message to IMDb's top contributors. This message is being sent to the 100 most prolific contributors to the database for 2005. It will also be available on the Contributors Help message board in order that the wider community can appreciate your efforts and share in this note of thanks from the staff. First of all I'd like to thank you all on behalf of the whole of IMDb, both staff and users worldwide, for your contributions in 2005. It's an honour to write to you to share news of progress in 2005 and plans for 2006.

For some of you this will be the first time you have made it onto this list, and in a few cases you maybe even only discovered IMDb in 2005. In many cases though you will have been featured here for many many years and, since this is the tenth anniversary edition, we did some extra research, discovering that only four people have been included in all 10 editions:

  • Serguei Oukladov
  • Kurt Wallsten
  • Giancarlo Cairella (IMDb staff member)
  • Oliver Heidelbach (IMDb staff member)

Special thanks to Kurt, Serguei, Giancarlo and Oliver! An honourable mention goes to IMDb staff member Jon Reeves who made every edition from 1996-2004 and just missed out at #123 this year. Many of you know Jon from the Contributors Help board and it looks like he's been so busy helping everyone else submit data that he just missed out on making the list with his own submissions :-)

The Numbers

The table at the end of this message shows the number of data items you've submitted to the database since the start of the year and your position in the top 100. We are thrilled to report that 2005 has been another record year for submissions, submitters and also site traffic. A minimum of 20,190 items was required to ensure a place on the list in 2005, compared to 16,660 in 2004.

Submissions for 2005 totalled 16,233,918 items which is an increase of nearly 3.5M items over the submissions for 2004 and, looking back, the 2005 total is almost exactly the combined totals for 2002 and 2003 (7M + 9M respectively)! In 2005 we added over 54,000 new titles (up from 44K in 2004) with the title total standing at 481,117. We also added our 2 millionth name giving a total of 2,017,589 names in the database (+355K over 2004). We crossed the 10 million filmography credits mark during 2005 too, ending with 10,867,686 (+1.73M over 2004). A total of 198,917 different people submitted information in 2005 which is a record shattering nearly 60K more than in 2004. The grand totals over the 10 years where we have detailed comparable records are that over 600,000 people have submitted nearly 67 million items of data. Thanks to everyone here for their part in this success!

Progress and Plans

It is vital to note that as well as focussing on processing the increased quantity of submissions, the quality / accuracy of the submissions is of even greater importance to IMDb. We've invested significant effort in 2005 in reducing the number of bogus submissions and adapting / improving tools to help us spot manipulation of listings as early as possible in the processing cycle. Certain changes are now restricted to more trusted and experienced contributors and this trend will be expanded in 2006 in order to further improve accuracy and reduce processing times.

As the database becomes more complete it consumes more effort to process even the same number of submissions since more work is required to cross-check new submissions against existing data. Even with the increased volumes we have made significant improvements across the year in reducing turnaround times and eliminating backlogs though. The next generation of processing tools has been rolled out to further sections and many more areas are now updated daily, with a growing number of sections never having any data waiting for more than one business day! We've also moved several sections over to a new management scheme which more easily allows work to be shared amongst teams of experts to better enable holiday cover and also scaling to support future growth. We plan to expand this to as many areas as possible over 2006. Together with further tool improvements, we'll be trying hard to eliminate backlogs in the last few sections which have proved difficult so far.

The filmography credits are the last major area to be moved completely to the new processing software, the first filmography sections moved just before the holiday and the remaining ones will move over in the January 2006 timeframe. This will enable the new scalable team based approach to be phased in during the first quarter, subject to being able to recruit the right people early in the new year. We are particularly excited about this since it allows the credit processing work to be divided in a much more flexible way going forward. For example, allocating experts by title type (TV vs feature), genre, country or time period. It also enables smaller, more frequent updates as opposed to the bulk processing approach of today. This will also finally allow the long-promised more flexible organisation of credit categories on the site itself. As mentioned in my message last year, we were intending to spin off more departments from the miscellaneous crew section in 2005, however, we decided to wait until the new processing system was complete rather than duplicating the effort twice. We also plan to sort-out the confusion caused by soundtrack credits being split over several sections of the site in 2006.

We made great progress across the year with new titles processed more rapidly than ever before and what amounts to almost zero backlog in that area of the database. In order to do this we had to make the difficult decision to suspend processing of alternate (AKA) titles until the tools could be rewritten and the processing shared amongst a team. I'm pleased to report the work is far enough along to resume the AKA processing, and having reduced the AKA backlog by a couple of months at the end of 2005, we expect to pick up the pace early in 2006 via another round of tool improvements and eliminate the backlog of AKA titles entirely. These same tool updates will also allow the master titles list to be published more frequently than once per week.

As you can see from the stats above, 2005 proved a busy year for new name approvals and once tools were improved mid-year, we were able to handle the increased volumes and reduce the turnaround times. We have more changes in progress here as well as the final elmination of the alternate names backlog once we've caught-up from the post-holiday general backlog.

We also completely re-implemented the processing tools for company credits and transferred the data to a new section manager, eliminating what were previously long backlogs in that area. New company credits are processed daily and the small remaining older backlog will disappear early in the new year.

We made many improvements to the overall submission pipeline, although most of these were on internal tools to help us handle the volume and accuracy demands. It's been a busy year for IMDb's software development team in general with many competing high priority initiatives. As a result we were not able to make as many direct improvements to the external submissions interface (v1.5) as we would have liked, sorry. To address this going forward, in October we recruited a new member to the database tools software development team who will soon takeover direct responsibility for the submissions interface itself. This will also enable us to launch the automatically updated list of top contributors in the contributors zone which is long overdue.

Other items of note in 2005 included the launch of seven new genres and also on a related theme, MoKA (Movie Keywords Analyzer) at:

http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Keywords/

plus also the launch of a much-requested "in development" category for IMDb pro to enable better tracking of more speculative projects at earlier stages of their making.

Finally, part of the reason for the delay to other projects above is because full episode support is now well on the way to launch. The team have been working hard over the last several months to prepare the way for a massive expansion in our TV data coverage. The groundwork is all complete and a working version of the new system is currently undergoing an internal beta test ready for launch in January/February 2006. This is a huge project and involves creating title pages for every episode of every TV show in the database. We will be able to list cast, crew, plot, trivia and *any* data on a per episode basis as well as store generic information and summaries at the main series level. We are very excited about launching this in 2006 and know that most of you will enjoy the added depth of coverage in the TV area (and hopefully help us complete the missing information :-).

Traffic and Usage

Traffic to the site has grown throughout the year and this Thursday (29th) was yet another record day with nearly 54 million page views. A typical day sees over 43M page views and over 30 million unique users visit the site across each month. This in turn means the results of your contributions are seen and appreciated by an even larger worldwide audience. Our page view total for 2005 is over 13.5 billion pages -- that's an average of just over 2 pages for everyone alive on the planet today (on or offline) or 14 pages for everyone online (stats from http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm)

In October we celebrated IMDb's 15th anniversary via a special area reviewing the years 1990-2005 at:

http://www.imdb.com/features/15thanniversary/

We've seen many changes during the past 15 years and it remains as fun and challenging for us as it was 1990. We remain dedicated to providing the best source for movie/TV information in the world. It seems there's still as much data to collect and organise as there was when we started and we thank you for playing your role in filling the gaps. Every type of data and every title is important in some way.

I'll be sharing this message on the IMDb boards so if you have submitted any data in 2005 and are not in the top 100 list below, I hope you'll still appreciate this message of thanks applies to you as well.

Thanks and Feedback

I would like to share this message and the list below on the Contributors Help message board as usual. I will post it on 1st January so please let me know quickly if you have any issues with your real name/IMDb user name being displayed on the site or if you'd prefer your name hidden but are okay with your IMDb user name being displayed. I've made a note from previous years of a couple of people's preferences here and have applied them below already. The list will also be added to the Contributors Zone at:

http://www.imdb.com/czone/

once Jon Reeves returns for the New Year.

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome -- please join us in the Contributors Help message board:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/threads/

or contact us via the feedback form:

http://www.imdb.com/contact

A special note of thanks to those of you who do visit the Contributors Help board and assist in either shaping IMDb policy, reporting bugs in a constructive fashion or help new contributors solve submission problems.

Thanks again for your support in 2005 -- best wishes from IMDb for 2006!

Col Needham,
IMDb founder and managing director
on behalf of the whole Internet Movie Database Team

Message for 2004

Welcome to the ninth edition of my end of year message to IMDb's top contributors. This message is being sent to the 100 most prolific contributors to the database for 2004. It will also be available on the Contributors Help message board in order that the wider community can appreciate your efforts and share in this note of thanks from the staff. To begin then, I'd like to thank you all on behalf of the whole of IMDb for your contributions during the last 12 months.

The table at the end of this message shows the number of data items you've submitted to the database since the start of the year and your position in the top 100. I am pleased to see this has been another record year for both submissions and site traffic. This year a minimum of 16,660 items was required to ensure a place on this list (compared to approx 12,750 last year).

Submissions for 2004 totalled 12,772,550 items which is an increase of 3.75M items over the submissions for 2003 -- to put things in perspective, this *increase* is more than the *total* number of items submitted in 1999! During 2004 we added close to 44,000 new titles with the total now standing at 426,791 and there are now 1,661,651 names covered in the database (+230K over 2003). The number of filmography credits grew by over 1.5M, giving a total of 9,134,245 and it therefore looks like the 10 millionth credit will go live in 2005. A total of 139,115 people submitted information in 2004, which is over 25K more than 2003. Since we began keeping detailed comparable records in 1996, nearly 500,000 different people have submitted a total of well over 50 million items of data!

In these messages I always like to highlight the fact that each year the database grows more complete thanks to your contributions and that (eventually) the rate of growth ought to level off as a result -- 2004 still saw both growth rates and volumes increase as before though! Also, remember that processing even the same number of submissions would prove harder each year because the size of the existing database increases and, therefore, more work is required to cross-check new submissions against the existing names/titles/credits/etc. We were fortunate to have the benefit of the new web based submission system for the whole of 2004 and this proved invaluable in helping to process the data more efficiently.

We continue to appreciate that the database will never be complete and we need to constantly work on making it easier for you to submit updates, as well as improving the turnaround times once an item has been submitted. In 2003 the biggest changes were to the front-end interface which you use to send the updates to us. In 2004 most of the changes were on the back-end systems we use to process those updates once they arrive. It has been an excellent year for progress as, despite the increased submission rates, we still managed to significantly reduce the average processing times. The data management team have better access to the new generation of processing tools and we are aiming to make further enhancements in 2005. Since many of these changes are internal, it's difficult to express just how much things have improved over the last 12 months. We hope you can see the benefits indirectly though in terms of a shorter time between submitting an update and the changes being reflected live on the site. We're pleased with our ability to scale to meet the new volumes and will strive to eliminate the backlogs in the few remaining sections.

Now that processing tools can better scale we are looking forward to an exciting 2005 in which we can work on some of the projects which had to be delayed whilst we dealt with the increasing volumes. These include:

  • the long promised system to better recognise your part in the IMDb via an automatically updated list of top contributors in the contributors zone (http://www.imdb.com/czone/); the last pieces of technology for this project are almost ready
  • an expansion of our episodic TV coverage with better support for credits on an individual episode basis
  • the creation of several more specific crew lists to help organise the credits in a better manner (lists for more departments and changes to some of the existing categories); likewise similar rationalisation of the genres and keywords spaces as well as other areas of the database
  • further improvements to the web based submission interface and better feedback when data is rejected or when an update needs to be clarified

Our coverage has broadened across the year thanks to your submissions and, as a major user of the site myself, I'd like to add a personal note of thanks for your efforts. It's amazing sometimes to watch an old film which has barely even survived to be viewed today and then to discover IMDb has a complete listing full of all types of information! Equally, to read of an announcement of an upcoming major film with a "first time" director and discover a good listing already on the site (often with a detailed filmography for that director perhaps whose short films have never previously been released outside of film festivals -- not so much of "first time" director as other sources would suggest after all). No matter what type of data you submit, it is all important in helping to make IMDb the number one source for movie and TV information across the world. There's room in the IMDb for titles from every country and every time period. I'll be sharing this message on the IMDb boards so if you have submitted any data in 2004 and are not in the top 100 list below, I hope you'll still appreciate this message of thanks applies to you as well.

Traffic to the site has grown throughout the year and this Wednesday (29th) was yet another record day with over 34 million page views. A typical day sees over 28M page views and over 22 million unique users visit the site across each month. This in turn means the results of your contributions are seen and appreciated by an even larger worldwide audience.

As mentioned above, I would like to share this message and the list below on the Contributors Help message board. Since this was very widely supported last year, I will go ahead and post it tomorrow (1st January) instead of waiting a week to discover nobody really objects anyway! If anyone else has any problems with their real name/IMDb user name being displayed on the site (or if you'd prefer your name hidden but are okay with your IMDb user name being displayed), please let me know today. Similarly, we'll also add the 2004 list to the Contributors Zone, although that will probably be done next week.

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always ideas and feedback are welcome -- please join us in the Contributors Board message board:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/threads/

or contact us via the feedback form:

http://www.imdb.com/contact

A special note of thanks to those of you who do visit the Contributors Board and help to either shape IMDb policy, report bugs or help new contributors solve submission problems. This helps us make more time to improve the processing system or process the data which in turn benefits everyone.

In October 2005 IMDb will be celebrating its 15th birthday and we're all looking forward to a great and special year. Thanks again for your support whether this is your first or fifteenth year -- best wishes from IMDb!

Col Needham,
IMDb founder and managing director
on behalf of the whole Internet Movie Database Team

Message for 2003

Welcome to the eighth edition of my end of year message to IMDb's top contributors. This message is being sent to the 100 most prolific contributors to the database for 2003. Once again we'd like to say a special thanks from the whole of IMDb for all your contributions during the last 12 months.

The table at the end of this message shows the number of data items you've submitted to the database since the start of the year and your position in the top 100. This year we've also included your IMDb user name in the report since several of you know each other from interactions on the Contributors Help message board. As you'll see from the detailed stats below, it has been another record year for submissions and also for page views on the site so more people than ever get to see the results of your research. For the first time everyone on this list submitted more than 10,000 items!

Submissions for 2003 totalled 9,015,545 items which is an increase of over 1.5M items over the submissions for 2002. If we add the totals for each year since we began keeping detailed comparable records (1996-2003) the grand total comes out at nearly 40 million data items, of which nearly 25% was submitted in the last 12 months! We added over 40,000 titles during 2003 and the current total stands at 382,816; we also tightened the new title eligibility rules so maintaining a growth rate of 40K/titles/year beat all our expectations. The number of names in the database now stands at 1,429,237 representing a 2003 growth of almost 190K. The number of filmography credits grew by over 1M to 6,989,112 and going forward it's fair to include TV guest appearance credits here so the total number of credits really stands at 7,605,000. A total of 112,308 people submitted data in 2003; up by nearly 15,000 from 2002.

It's good to remember that each year the database grows more and more complete thanks to everyone's contributions and, eventually, at least the rate of growth ought to level off as there are fewer and fewer holes in the coverage. However we didn't reach that point this year and growth rates and volumes still increased, especially after the introduction of the new submission system in August! There are still plenty of gaps in our coverage and we'll never be complete so there's no time for complacency at least amongst the IMDb staff though! It's been good to see coverage of more obscure countries and time periods fill out further during 2003. We continue to appreciate the broad coverage of the IMDb through your efforts. Whatever types of data you contribute for whatever types of titles, we'd like to say thanks again -- it's all important. I know this message sometimes gets distributed more widely than this group of 100 so thanks to everyone who has submitted any data to the site, irrespective of the amount as every little helps.

The IMDb data management team have worked long and hard across the year to reduce processing times and eliminate backlogs. We're pleased with the results here too. Even with the increased volumes we've been able to process data more quickly across almost all sections of the database. All processing tools now handle the data in daily batches rather than the old weekly ones, therefore removing a long standing barrier to quicker turnarounds. An increasing number of sections are now updated daily or at least on a 2-3 times per week basis. We are aiming to make rapid progress moving more sections onto a more frequent update cycle as soon as possible. The groundwork for these improvements has already been laid in new processing tools and, of course, the new submissions system itself.

Earlier this year we introduced a new approval process for new titles allowing the task to be shared amongst a team. We soon caught up on the backlog there and maintained a faster turnaround throughout the year. As the holiday season approached we reduced the age of the oldest title even further to the point where even titles at the bottom of the priority queue were being examined within 7 days. Early in 2004 we'll be switching to publishing the new titles on a daily basis, further reducing the time between submission and publication. This has knock effects in further improving turnaround times across all sections of the IMDb. Similar reductions and improvements are in the pipeline for data attached to new names as well.

In August we launched the new submission system and this led to reductions in processing times everywhere. It also created a surge both in submissions and users able to contribute for the first time. We're still making improvements to the system on a weekly basis as new checks and warnings are added or new forms supported. In 2004 we hope to offer better tracking of submissions, although with falling turnaround times and improved software leading to fewer "lost" submissions, such tracking may become less of an issue. We also launched the Contributors Zone at:

http://www.imdb.com/czone/

which as well as collecting useful resources for contributors, will also provide a forum to recognise all your work. Once again sorry for the lack of progress on this latter point, although we're not too far away from getting something operational soon -- look for the launch of the new registration system in Q1 2004 which is required to provide a real-time updated recognition section. In the meantime, let me know if you have any problems with your real name/IMDb user name being displayed on the site (or if you'd prefer your name hidden but are okay with your IMDb user name being displayed). We'd like to publish the 2003 top 100 contributors in the contributors zone and possibly on the Contributors Help board within the first week of 2004.

Traffic to the site also continues to grow and this Monday (29th) produced a record traffic day with over 21 million page views! A typical day sees over 17M page views and unique monthly visitors are significantly higher than the 16 million/month reported on the home page (we're awaiting some system changes before publishing more accurate counts). This means the results of your submissions are once again seen and appreciated by an even larger worldwide audience. We'll be working hard in 2004 to push these numbers even higher.

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always ideas and feedback are welcome -- please join us in the Contributors Board message board:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/threads/

or contact us via the feedback form:

http://www.imdb.com/help/feedback/contact?target=2

A special note of thanks to those of you who do visit the Contributors Board and help to either shape IMDb policy, report bugs or help new contributors solve submission problems. This helps us make more time to improve the processing system or process the data which in turn benefits everyone.

Many thanks and have a great 2004!

Col Needham,
IMDb founder
on behalf of the whole Internet Movie Database Team

Message for 2002

Welcome to the seventh edition of my end of year message to IMDb's top contributors. This message is being sent to the 100 most prolific contributors to the database for 2002. On behalf of the whole IMDb team we'd like to say a special thanks for all your additions and corrections. We couldn't do it without you!

The table at the end of this message shows the number of lines of data you've submitted to the database since the start of the year and your position in the top 100. It's been another record year and I hope you were able to improve your position in the list. To make it on the list at #100 it needed nearly 10,000 items this year; compare that to 1996 and 10K would have placed you at #31! I'm aware that this message often gets distributed more widely than the top 100 contributors so thanks to everyone who has submitted any data to the site, irrespective of the amount as every little helps.

For the year submissions totalled 7,464,851 items, representing an increase of over 1.23M on the total for 2001. During the year we added over 40,000 new titles to take us to nearly 340,000 -- when we started IMDb in 1990 we innocently thought we'd be complete when we had a total of 20,000 titles :-). We added our 300,000th title last January and also crossed 1.25M names in November with the total now standing at 1,240,313 (nearly 180K added in 2002). We also passed 5M filmography credits and are now approaching 6M with today's total at 5,944,114. This represents an increase of over 1M credits across the whole year and does not even include TV guest appearances (there are over 500K guest entries). A total of 97,595 people submitted data in 2002; up over 15,000 from 2001.

The above statistics are even more remarkable when you consider that each year the database grows more and more complete so there are fewer holes to fill. There's still a long way to go though and many more titles being produced and released across the world. We're very proud (and hope you share in that pride too) of the broad coverage in the database both in range of titles from the smallest independent short (as long as it was seen :-) to the latest worldwide blockbuster release, and in the range of countries from the smallest independent state to those countries producing the worldwide blockbuster releases!

We're not perfect but the data management team at IMDb work long and hard to process the new data as quickly and efficiently as possible. We've seen many changes behind the scenes in 2002 to both keep up with ever increasing volumes and to turn around changes faster. In fact more sections are being updated more frequently with more data more quickly than ever before. We're in the middle of rolling out new processing technology to the data management team and you may have noticed many sections have already moved over to a daily processing schedule instead of the old weekly schedule. We're also rapidly closing in on the elimination of old backlogs in the trivia, goofs and quotes sections. One area we are focussed on improving right now is the processing of new titles. The volume of new title submissions and the task of validating them with regards to eligibility has put quite a strain on the new title manager and a backlog has accumulated. We're already processing this backlog in priority order to minimise the impact on our coverage and a new internal system is about to go live to solve the issues with current process and enable us to catch-up and stay ahead going forward.

The replacement data submissions system is still in development and will launch in 2003. It has been partly delayed to allow us to work on the processing systems so that we'll be able to handle the expected rise in volumes which the new system will hopefully create. We'll be rolling out the new system on a section by section basis and will be looking for volunteers to test and give feedback before a wider release. The new system has much simpler forms, much better error checking/reporting with immediate feedback on any issues and allows online deletions/edits for all sections not just the limited set supported today. Once inside the system we'll be able to process the data more efficiently and also give feedback to the contributors as to where their data is in the pipeline. An offline email version will also be provided for backwards compatibility for those of you who prefer to submit in bulk.

In May 2002 we also launched the contributors newsletter which hopefully you all already receive, but if not, there are sign-up instructions and back issues available at (down the page after the daily/weekly info):

http://www.imdb.com/Newsletter/

and in August we launched the Contributors Help board:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000042/threads/

I know several of you are already active there and thanks for the issues you've raised and also the support you've given other contributors! One thing we were hoping to launch in 2002 was a system for providing more public recognition for your contributions. There were some privacy issues which meant we need to wait for a change to the registration system (so you can opt-in for recognition) and the original plan was to launch the "thanks" pages in conjunction with the new submissions system. Instead we've decided to go for a simpler manual approach to start with for launch early in 2003 with the more complex self-updating system released later.

Traffic to IMDb continues to grow with over 13 million unique monthly visitors and daily page views frequently over 10 million pages so your data is shared with an even larger audience. We've added many new features to the site in general across the year, though a significant effort has gone into a less visible change in technology platform, using the new more efficient systems created for IMDb pro on the regular IMDb site. We'll start to see more fruit from the new technology in 2003 with an exciting year of improvements already planned out.

Thanks again for all your support during the year. As always ideas and feedback are welcome -- please join us in the Contributors Board message board or contact us via the new feedback form:

http://www.imdb.com/help/feedback/contact?target=2

Many thanks and have a great 2003!

Col Needham,
IMDb founder
on behalf of the whole Internet Movie Database Team

Message for 2001

Thanks for supporting IMDb over the last 12 months. This is the sixth edition of my end of year message to our top contributors and whether this is the sixth or first time you have been included, thank you for your data contributions and other support in 2001.

The table at the end of this message shows the number of lines of data you've submitted to the database since the start of the year and your position in the top 100. Submissions have once again increased so special thanks if you managed to improve your position in the list (and if not, like I always say, there's still next year :-).

Yet again I'm amazed to see submissions climbing even though there are fewer holes to fill. Additions for the year totalled 6,228,316 items which is an increase of over 1.7M on last year's total. The number of movies increased by 25,000 to take us over 275,000 (with some of the shrinkage in the growth rate reflecting a tightening of the rules to qualify for a listing). Including TV-series and video games there are over 297,000 titles -- look out for our 300,000th title being added early in the new year! During the year we added our 1,000,000th name to the database (1,061,562 in total today) and there are currently 4,878,032 filmography entries representing a growth of 880,000 (750K last year). A total of 81,948 people submitted data (57,415 in 2000) and the increase in items (1.7M) is actually more than the total data submitted for the whole of 1996!

We've been working hard behind the scenes on improving the processing tools in order to keep up with the increased submissions. We're also still developing a completely new submissions system to both make it easier for people to add/correct data and for us to handle the data as it arrives. As a result of these changes we hope to streamline the whole additions process and create a more flexible system which will be easier to maintain and enhance. We're looking forward to launching this and getting your feedback.

On the site monthly page views are approaching 200 million and unique user counts just short of 10 million per month so your data contributions are accessed by more people than ever before.

Thanks again for all your support during the year. We couldn't do it without you and your support is very much appreciated. Ideas and feedback are welcome and can be sent to <feedback@imdb.com>.

Many thanks and have a great 2002!

Col Needham
on behalf of the whole Internet Movie Database Team

Message for 2000

This marks the fifth edition of my end of year message to the top contributors to the IMDb in the last 12 months. Whether this is the first or the fifth time you've been included, thanks to all of you for your support.

The table at the end of this message shows the number of lines of data you've submitted to the database since the start of the year and your position in the top 100. The submission levels are up this year so you needed to send more data than last year to make the list! Once again for those who were listed previously, I hope you followed my advice and improved your ranking, and if not, there's always the 2001 list to aim for!! ;-).

Given the completeness of the database I was expecting to see a smaller quantity of data submitted this year since there are fewer holes in the coverage, but was very pleased to see this was not the case. The number of movies included once again increased by 40,000 to take us to over 250,000 and counting TV-series and video games there are over 265,000 titles. This is a long way above the 10,000 titles we ended our first year in 1990 with! We currently have 955,820 people in the database with a total of 3,997,991 filmography entries (annoyingly close to the 4M mark). This represents a growth of nearly 750,000 filmography entries during the year (compared to last year's growth of 600,000). This year a total of 57,415 people (47,748 in 1999) submitted another record total of 4,527,069 lines of data (up from 3,647,670 in 1999 and over double 1998's total of 2,096,068).

On the site our monthly page views are approaching 120 million and unique user counts at over 6 million per month. The site was recently chosen as the greatest site of all time by the popular UK internet magazine 'The Net'. As many of you know already, the IMDb continues to be widely used throughout the film industry so your and our work is often used by the people and companies we are collecting data on. We couldn't do it without you and your support is very much appreciated.

Hopefully you all enjoyed the changes on the site this year. I'm particularly pleased with the My Movies service which launched towards the start of the year along with our independent film section. We've also added many photographs thanks to partnerships with image libraries with more planned in the near future. On the data front we created new lists for visual effects and the art department but more importantly behind the scenes, made future splits from the miscellaneous section easier to launch so the coming year will see many more dedicated filmography sections. We updated the additions interface to address many of the complaints concerning the old interface and this has lead to an increase in submissions and yet improved the processing time for the list managers too. This was important to launch given the current size of the existing database and the level of submissions as we simply could not handle the problems with the old system any longer.

The most significant event of the last 12 months was marking our 10th anniversary on 17th October. It's been an amazing 10 years with lots of long hours and lots of challenges but lots of fun too. We've had to work harder than ever this year to keep everything running.

We've been working on a new site design for the past several months for launch in the coming year. This explains why some of the changes from last years message have not yet been implemented. The new site promises to be faster, more customizable and will include a much more powerful additions interface featuring deletion/editing for all categories.

Thanks again for all your support during the year. Ideas and feedback are always welcome and can be sent to <feedback@imdb.com>.

Many thanks and have a great 2001!

Col Needham
on behalf of the whole Internet Movie Database Team

Message for 1999

This is the traditional end-of-year message to the top contributors to the IMDb for the last 12 months. If this is the first time you've been honoured by inclusion, then welcome to the club! Thanks to each and every one of you (especially if this is the 4th year you've been included).

The table below shows the number of lines of actual data you've submitted to the database since 1st January 1999. Once again for those who were listed previously, I hope you followed my advice and improved your ranking, and if not, there's always the 2000 list to aim for!! ;-).

We're still amazed at the rate of growth, though the completeness of the database in terms of major releases means that there are fewer holes to fill. The number of movies covered increased by 40,000 to nearly 210,000 compared with a growth in 1998 of 43,000. Counting TV-series etc there are over 220,000 titles in the IMDb with filmographies for nearly 800,000 people. The number of filmography entries again grew by over 600,000 to 3,251,842. This year a total of 47,748 people (56,514 in 1998, though '99 was the first full year with the additions interface restricted to registered users) submitted a record breaking total of 3,647,670 lines of data (2,096,068 lines in 1998).

I'm pleased to say that this year has been our busiest ever with monthly page views heading towards 80 million and unique user counts at around 4 million per month. Your contributions to the site have been viewed by well over 10 million users across the year. We were very pleased to win the best film site Webby award back in March for the third year running. As many of you know already, the IMDb continues to be widely used throughout the film industry so your and our work is often used by the people and companies we are collecting data on. We couldn't do it without you and your support is very much appreciated.

During the year we were able to expand the number of sections covered in the database, most notably a new set of filmography lists were created from the miscellaneous list. We also launched a new design focussing on more of the community aspects of the site, with the recommendations, message boards, showtimes and demographic breakdowns of votes being particularly well received. The web site is now updated daily to keep the regularly changing data as current as possible. The majority of the data sections are updated weekly but there's now extra flexibility in the processing schedules which we'll be taking advantage of next year to offer faster turnaround on some additions.

Thanks to support from our parent company, Amazon.com, we were able to grow the staff in order to keep up with increasing submission volumes and also to accelerate the pace of new developments on the site, both technical and editorial. It's still very hard work with most of us working 7 day weeks in order to keep everything going, but the end results on the site are well worth it.

As usual we have many improvements in the pipeline for the coming year. Of particular interest to this distribution, we will be working on better ways to highlight your contributions to the site and will also be completely redoing the web interface additions system to make it much easier to add and correct data. We'll also be adding a new service to allow you to track movies you've seen, want to see or own which will help you get more out of using the IMDb.

We hope you've all enjoyed adding to the database this year and will continue to support us next year. Please remember input/feedback/suggestions are always welcome at <feedback@imdb.com>. Particularly, if there's anything we could be doing better, please let us know.

Many thanks and have a great 2000!

Col Needham
on behalf of the whole Internet Movie Database Team

Message for 1998

This is the traditional end-of-year message to the top contributors to the IMDb for the last 12 months. If this is the first time you've been on my "honours" list then welcome to the club! This year I've extended the listing to the top 100 contributors. Thanks to each and every one of you (especially if this is the third year in a row you've been included).

The table below shows the number of lines of actual data you've submitted to the database since 1st January 1998. Once again for those who were listed previously, I hope you followed my advice and improved your ranking, and again if not, there's always the 1999 list to aim for!! ;-). We're still amazed at the rate of growth, though the completeness of the database in terms of major releases means that there a fewer holes to fill. The number of movies covered increased by a record amount -- up 43,000 to nearly 170,000 compared with a growth in 1997 of 37,000. Counting TV-series and video games there are over 180,000 titles in the IMDb. The number of filmography entries once again grew by over 600,000 to 2,610,997. This year a total of 56,514 people (47,900 in 1997) submitted a total of 2,096,068 lines of data.

This year has been our busiest ever with all the new features and searches added to the site. We were also finally able to implement a complete redesign of the web site -- something we've wanted to do for a couple of years now. Traffic levels grew well throughout the year and the redesigned site helped broaden our appeal to many more users. The IMDb is now widely used throughout the film industry so your and our work is often used by the people and companies we are collecting data on. We couldn't do it without you and your support is very much appreciated.

In April IMDb became part of the Amazon.com group of companies and since then we have been able to expand the full and part time staff significantly. It's still very hard work though with most of us working 7 days per week to keep on top of the ever increasing size of the database and adding more and more features. I'm particularly pleased to see the editorial side of the database expanding as a result of Greg Bulmash joining us in the new role of senior editor.

Looking forward to 1999 we still have lots of improvements lined up so watch the weekly announcement mail messages for details. We hope you've all enjoyed adding to the database this year and will continue to support us next year. Please remember input/feedback/suggestions are always welcome, so feel free to mail either myself or the whole team. Particularly, if there's anything we could be doing better, please let us know.

Many thanks and have a great 1999!

Col Needham
on behalf of the whole Internet Movie Database Team

Message for 1997

This is the traditional end-of-year message to the top contributors to the IMDb for the last year. If this is the first time you've been on my "honours" list then welcome to the club! This year I've extended the listing to the top 75 contributors to reflect the record year we've just had. Thanks to each and every one of you.

The table below shows the number of lines of actual data you've submitted to the database since 1st January 1997. For those who were listed last year, I hope you followed my advice and improved your ranking :-), and again if not, there's always the 1998 list to aim for!! :-)

The rate of growth still amazes us. At the end of last year we covered 90,000 movies (growth of 25,000 in 1996) and here we are now at nearly 127,000 movies; the number of filmography entries grew by over 600,000 (growth of 450,000 in 1996) to over 1,950,000. This year a total of 47,900 people (30,349 in 1996) submitted a total of 2,852,250 lines of data (1,858,457 in 1996), averaging 54,850 lines per week (35,740 in 1996). At the start of this year I expected to be reporting smaller growth rates now given there are fewer holes in our coverage, but here we are again with record submissions! What can we say but thanks for helping IMDb maintain its position as the number one movie web site.

This year has been a busy one once again with many new data types, searches and features added to the database. There's a good reminder at:

http://us.imdb.com/what_is_new

All this was done with our very small core team which still largely consists of volunteers. The growth in the advertising business allowed us to expand the full-time staff slightly during the year but we're still heavily overworked and will remain so until the online ad business matures further (keep clicking those banners and visiting our sponsors!). We couldn't do any of this without your help in keeping the database expanding.

We're pleased to see usage of the database has also climbed throughout the year. On Monday we served a record 1,215,473 pages which is almost twice the record number served this time last year (611,513). For the whole year a total of over 275,000,000 pages have been served across all our sites. Just as last year, even more people than ever are seeing the results of your hard work, with a growing usage inside the film industry, so you never know when that plot summary, cast list or biography you've just submitted is being read by the person/people concerned/involved with the movie.

Looking forward to 1998 we have lots of improvements lined up which we'll get to as fast as we can. It's still hard work here but good fun and we hope you've all enjoyed adding to the database this year and will continue to support us next year. Please remember input/feedback/suggestions are always welcome, so feel free to mail either myself or the whole team. Particularly, if there's anything we could be doing better, please let us know.

Many thanks and have a great 1998

Col Needham
on behalf of the whole Internet Movie Database Team

Message for 1996

This a quick message to the top 50 contributors to the IMDb for the past year. On behalf of the whole IMDb team I'd like to thank you all for your support and wish you a happy new year for 1997!

The table below shows the number of lines of actual data you've submitted to the database since 1st January 1996. For those who were listed last year, I hope you've improved your ranking, and if not, there's always the 1997 list to aim for!! :-)

It's been a very busy year here with the switch from a volunteer operation to a commercial company. I'd like to thank all of you for your support during the transition and I think we're all agreed it was the right decision: we now have servers which can keep up with the traffic and the resources to devote to expanding the database and maintaining its position as the number one movie site on the web.

On Sunday we passed the 90,000 movies mark -- up over 25,000 during 1996; the number of filmography entries crossed 1,000,000 and now stands at over 1,300,000 with approximately 450,000 additions this year. This year 30,349 people (6,650 in 1995) submitted a total of 1,858,457 lines of data (1,144,000 in 1995), averaging 35,740 lines/week (22,000 in 1995). All this is even more amazing when you consider that there are fewer "holes" in our coverage for people to fill. Over the year we've seen a good increase in areas outside of the mainstream modern US releases so coverage of older movies, "foreign" movies and obscure cult movies is in much better shape.

Another major improvement in the year is the turnaround time for processing additions -- almost all sections are updated weekly now, with the last remaining few moving towards meeting the target. The majority of the team are still volunteers (only 2 of us are actually employed by IMDb Ltd.) so that means team members sacrificing in many cases the bulk of their free time at the weekends to process the data in a timely manner.

The usage of the database has dramatically increased throughout the year -- we served a record 611,513 pages yesterday which is about a 500% increase on the figures this time last year! Even more people than ever are seeing the results of your hardwork, with a growing usage inside the film industry, so you never know when that plot summary, cast list or biography you've just submitted is being read by the person/people concerned/involved with the movie.

We've got lots of plans for improvements and expansion in 1997 and I hope you'll all continue to support the database. It's hard work inside the IMDb (why else would I still be working at 10pm on New Year's Eve) but it's good fun and we couldn't do it without you. Please remember input/feedback/ suggestions are always welcome as that's where 90% of all the ideas for improvements in the IMDb come from, so feel free to mail either myself or the whole team. Particularly, if there's anything we could be doing better, please let us know.

Many thanks and have a great 1997

Col Needham
on behalf of The Internet Movie Database Team

Message for 1995

This a quick note to the top 30 contributors to the IMDb for the past year. On behalf of the whole IMDb team I'd like to thank you all for your support during the past 12 months and wish you a happy new year for 1996!

The table below shows the number of lines of actual data you submitted to the database since 1st January 1995. From this side of the fence it's certainly been a fun year: We've seen the number of movies covered climb from about 37,000 to nearly 63,000 and the number of filmography entries nearly double to just under 840,000. Thanks to your efforts and those of other contributors the additions rate has still continued to climb throughout the year. The average weekly rate came out at 22,000.

Looking at the "What's new" page in the web interface I can't believe we managed to achieve all that in just 12 months and we celebrated our fifth anniversary too!

Needless to say lots of changes and improvements are on the cards again for 1996 and I hope you'll all be around to help out.