Introduction and Thanks
Hello. Bonjour. Guten Tag. Hola. Salve. Olá. नमस्ते.
Welcome to the 28th edition of our annual letter to thank IMDb's worldwide data contributor community. The theme for the letter this year is international expansion as you may have guessed from the greetings above. In 2022 we added support for eight additional country/language pairs on the IMDb website, so in addition to US/English, we now offer a growing number of pages and content in these combinations: Canada/French; France/French; Germany/German; India/Hindi; Italy/Italian; Brazil/Portuguese; Spain/Spanish; and Mexico/Spanish.
I am IMDb's Founder & CEO and one of the highlights of my year is always sharing the news in this letter and celebrating all of our data contributors, especially those who made the Top 300 list by volume. Thanks to the support from all of our customers, we have had another exciting year at IMDb as we continue to help IMDb power the creation, discovery and enjoyment of entertainment everywhere. We launched IMDb in 1990 and the tradition of sending this letter began in 1995 if you would like to catch-up on any of the 27 previous editions. This year our team members Ramsey and Jay co-wrote this letter with me by providing the special section below on contribution improvements. We are all part of a team who are delighted to serve you and whose work this letter also represents.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed any factual data, voted in our ratings poll, written a review, shared a list, voted in a user contributed poll or added to IMDb in any other way. Every contribution is important and you never know when just one piece of extra data will help another customer answer their question or make a viewing (or listening) discovery. Once again, we are pleased with audience growth directly on IMDb and via other IMDb powered devices or experiences. The content you provide is reaching an ever-wider audience and now in even more local languages. To learn more about contributing, please visit our Contributor Zone.
We have a new approach to sharing the Top Contributors table this year via the Contributor Leaderboard which means we can count submissions right up until the year end and anyone with more than 100 approved items in 2022 can discover their own position in the rankings. Based upon the monthly leaderboard, we have been updating a running total for 2022 weekly across December with the final version published early on 1 January 2023 at https://contribute.imdb.com/leaderboard/2022/
IMDb now includes:
· Over 12 million titles with more than 3 million added in 2022
· Almost 13 million names with over 850,000 added in 2022
· Over 170 million filmography credits with more than 18 million added in 2022
· Almost 7.5 million user reviews with more than 750,000 added in 2022
· Almost 3 million podcast episodes
· Over 100,000 music videos
Additional statistics are available in the press room and are updated quarterly.
This year over 17,000 items were required to make it onto the Top 300 Contributors list. Across the year we averaged over one million approved updates per week with submissions of around two million items on some weeks. We know that speedy processing and publication times are most important to our contributors, and despite the volume increases, we have been able to reduce these times and reduce the sizes of (occasional) backlogs. Thank you everyone for your support.
... From a contributor
perspective by Ramsey and Jay on The Contributor Team ...
What a year it has been. We must start by saying a huge thank you to our contributor community. You are the lifeblood of IMDb and we are forever grateful for your passion, knowledge and commitment to enriching the fan experience by providing vital and fascinating data, credits, ratings, reviews and everything in between.
The IMDb Contributor Team has been hard at work to continuously improve and advance the contributor experience, to make contribution easier, smoother and more fun. We listen closely to your suggestions and try to implement as many ideas and recommendations as we can, so please keep your suggestions coming over at our Community pages.
Twelve months is a long time, but it flies by, so let's take a look back at the key features, updates and improvements we have made for our contributors in 2022.
To make contributing easier, we introduced the ability to contribute "Release Type" data, so that new Release Date submissions are always accompanied with a method of release (e.g. theatrical, online etc.). This makes data more consistent and simplifies this process for new contributors. We also introduced a new mechanism for categorizing keywords into sub-genres, plot details and plot time-frames. This aids the standardization of data and improves the discoverability of title pages, helping to bring some much needed order for those of us that like to have our ducks in a row.
For the first time, contributors are now able to submit delete requests for incorrect or cancelled titles. Previously contributors would have to contact our customer service representatives via the help site to make such a request, which was a time consuming process. Now you can save time and help remove those pesky pieces of data that are no longer relevant.
Next, we introduced a feature which allows you to upload supporting evidence for credits and bio data submissions. In the past, contributors would have to upload evidence to 3rd party sites, but now you can upload to IMDb instead - straight to the source, making it easier than ever. This evidence helps our team to verify that submissions are factual and improves a contributor's chance of having their submissions approved. Now that's what we call a win-win!
We also made some big improvements to our Contributor Leaderboard page. We understand that the leaderboard is a great place to see your name up in lights and get the recognition you deserve for your hard work all year round. So, we rolled out a new page for our leaderboards, celebrating the most prolific submitters. The new page allows users to click on profiles and see past rankings, as well as highlighting changes in standings from the previous month. We have more exciting updates planned for the leaderboard, so keep your eyes peeled for what comes next in 2023.
In 2022, demand for authoritative data continued to accelerate across the Media & Entertainment industry. From creating compelling content, discovering new talent, or building new content recommendation features to attract and engage audiences, the need for accurate data to power decision making and content discovery has never been greater. We're proud (as you should be, too) that IMDb's data is leveraged by an ever-growing number of major studios, TV networks, global streaming operators, research & analytics services and many more via IMDb's commercial content licensing business. This year, we're particularly pleased to welcome Samsung TV Plus, and to help their customers discover new content to watch. On the market research side, we're also delighted to welcome Kantar to the fold, and to help their analyst teams manage movie/TV data for entertainment-related research, analysis and reporting.
Finally, don't forget to check out the IMDb Rewind. We put this together to celebrate the incredible efforts of you, our contributor community, and wanted to bring to life some of our favourite data types to surprise and impress. The Rewind really highlights how much effort our contributor community makes and in the year that IMDb turned 32 years old, it reiterates that we wouldn't be here without you. Thank you!
... From a customer perspective by Col Needham ...
Continuing our international theme this year, if you would like to switch languages on the IMDb site, please use the menu in the upper right corner of any page (selection defaults to "EN" for English). This localisation works on any of the modern pages built on our new technology — more pages will be converted over time. These nine country/language pairs (and more) are already supported in our mobile apps. Some IMDb content also powers the voice experience for entertainment questions on Amazon's Alexa devices in many more languages. As someone trying to learn French myself, it has been fun to interact with Alexa in French and hear the device recite information in French that I originally contributed in English. We continued to improve search results in local languages as part of this work, with more to come. In October we also launched our first social media handles in India on Instagram and Twitter. We replaced our US-centric Now Playing section with an expansion of the worldwide release calendar covering every country for which we have release dates; similarly, the home page Coming Soon feature is now localised. If release dates are missing for your country, do feel free to contribute them.
Our category expansion team worked on growing the podcast and music video title types, with some of the results shown in the numbers section above. We are weaving these new types further into the IMDb experience, including the addition of "Listen" links onto podcast title pages. We increased the supported professions on IMDb to include Music Artist and Podcaster as you can see, for example, with Taylor Swift and Julia Galef. I have enjoyed updating episodes and connections on one of my favourite podcasts, You Must Remember This (2014) as I caught-up with 17 seasons across the year after its host, Karina Longworth, appeared on our podcast, IMDb Is Obsessed (2021) in April. We expanded our coverage of podcast and music awards too with The Ambies and The Grammy Awards being good examples.
We remain committed to helping improve diversity, equity and inclusion across the entertainment industry. We took two further significant steps in 2022 in support of this important work. In August we launched a new free subscription tier for IMDbPro allowing anyone with an IMDb name page to claim their page and to optionally supply personal details / demographic data, and to update their IMDbPro performer profile outside of their credits. This helps all professionals better showcase themselves and their careers to industry decision-makers without requiring a paid subscription. In December we launched the next phase whereby anyone with a claimed name page can control the display of this information on IMDbPro and on all other IMDb interfaces, along with control over the display of their birth year, birth name and alternate names. For on-camera talent, age-playing ranges are now supported more widely. We believe that this is a positive step forward for representation and it should lead to IMDb having a larger range of content, thanks to the new fields available and thanks to the direct relationships with the larger number of professionals who have claimed their pages. Our press release contains more information on these steps to support more equitable hiring in the entertainment industry and it lists the organisations with whom we worked.
All of the above inspired us onwards in terms of the rollout of our new technology and design which had previously launched on the home, title, what to watch, photo and video pages. We want to be able to better support more languages, more device sizes, more title types, more data fields, and improved accessibility / consistency across the whole of IMDb. In November we launched our new name pages to support these aims immediately and to allow faster changes along with download speed improvements in the future. We are already seeing additional benefits in terms of customer engagement and traffic to the site as well as a reduction in mental switching costs between accessing IMDb on the web vs. mobile since the majority of customers access IMDb across more than one device. More details are available in the launch FAQ. The main search results were also migrated to the new technology platform for similar advantages.
In May we brought IMDb to a wider range of customers via the launch of our What to Watch app for Fire TV devices in the US. The app has a series of simple, fun games which you can play alone or as a group to help you find something great to watch. We later added speedy access to your IMDb watchlist via the app which is a great way to locate these titles on your Fire TV for convenient viewing. You can also save your preferred services for a personalised streaming guide.
Video plays an important role in the IMDb experience and we released an updated video player on the site and apps. This in turn has enabled more support of closed captions for IMDb original videos on the site, which improves accessibility and, continuing a theme, provides better access for customers whose first language is not English (app support and wider video coverage are coming soon). The "sticky" video feature means that if you click to play the audio of a video at the top of a title page and scroll, the video will stay within view as you read the rest of the page — perfect for multi-tasking (and coming soon to name pages). We also improved our playlist selection so there is something relevant to watch once the current video finishes.
We have continued to produce our own video content in the form of interviews, short shows and coverage of popular awards and events. We returned to San Diego Comic-Con, expanded our video coverage at Disney's D23 event, and continued our coverage of The Academy Awards, Emmys, and New York Comic Con. Our new weekly round-up, 5 Things to Watch is proving popular.
In addition to short videos such as trailers and interviews, IMDb also links to other locations where full movies and shows can be watched (as well as where podcasts can be heard) in a growing number of countries and supporting a growing number of providers. We transitioned the IMDb TV brand to Amazon Freevee back in April and then added Freevee support in the US, UK and Germany to the Watch option on our title pages. In the US, new watch providers included AMC+ and Peacock.
We continue to invest in original photography, leading to a number of exclusive portrait studios at The Film Independent Spirit Awards, D23, Outfest LA Film Festival, and The Critics Choice Association 5th Annual Celebration of Black Cinema & Television.
For improvements in our mobile apps, as usual please see the release notes for our mobile apps in the iOS and Android stores. My personal favourite this year is the addition of plot keywords to both apps.
Beyond the changes already highlighted, we made further improvements to IMDbPro and Box Office Mojo for our entertainment industry professional customers. On IMDbPro launches included updated company pages, an updated summary for name pages, and the Discover people and title searches. We were pleased to be able to support industry events and organisations throughout 2022, including: The American Black Film Festival; The Critics Choice Association Celebrations (Asian Pacific Cinema & Television, Latino Cinema & Television and Black Cinema & Television); Easterseals (Disability Film Challenge and Media Access Awards); Film Independent (Independent Spirit Awards); Outfest (Outfest Fusion, Outfronts, Outfest LA and Outfest Legacy Awards); The Sundance Film Festival; SXSW; The Toronto International Film Festival; Women in Film; and The Women in Film & TV UK Awards. We again provided data to ReFrame as the basis for their ReFrame Stamp initiative to highlight gender-balanced TV and film productions.
We expanded our Best Of section with even more lists of popular people and titles worldwide and some additional India lists inline with our international theme. Our Top Breakout Star was Emma D'Arcy who is pictured here receiving their Breakout STARmeter award. Other STARmeter awards across 2022 were: Lauren Ridloff in celebration of Black History Month; Salma Hayek Pinault (Icon Award) in celebration of Women's History Month and IMDbPro's 20th anniversary; Simu Liu in celebration of Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month; Simone Ashley (Breakout Award); and Melissa Barrera in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
You can also follow us on our various social media channels: TikTok; Facebook; Instagram; Twitch; Twitter; and YouTube. Thanks as always to our poll community for creating such engaging content for IMDb customers.
In addition to IMDb's 32nd birthday, 2022 marked IMDbPro's 20th birthday given we originally launched IMDbPro at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. I have fond memories of the launch itself — I am grateful for how far we have come and yet I remain excited about how much further we have to go at both IMDb and IMDbPro. The steps we have taken this year are a good start in the next phase of our journey and our mission to encourage more equitable hiring across the entertainment industry.
Thank you for all of your support across 2022. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome via Sprinklr, where you can also propose and vote upon new ideas, including those pertaining to the following topics: IMDb, data, iOS, Android and IMDbPro. This letter itself will be posted to Sprinklr if you have any feedback or questions.
New this year, if you have 100+ approved contributions, you can check your own position in the contributor rankings via the annual leaderboard hosted directly on IMDb. If you are inside the Top 300 contributors, as usual, we are offering you free access to IMDbPro for all of 2023 as a reflection of our appreciation. We will contact those people who qualify next week with access details.
We wish you a Happy New Year for 2023!
IMDb Founder and CEO
on behalf of the whole IMDb Team