Introduction and Thanks
Welcome to the 26th edition of our annual letter to recognise and celebrate IMDb’s top data contributors. This message is initially being sent to everyone who contributed data in 2020 and will then be shared more widely. If you are a first time recipient of this year-end tradition, I am IMDb’s Founder & CEO and you can catch up on old editions of the annual letter here, and follow IMDb’s future progress in our press room. If you have not yet contributed any data to IMDb, you can learn more via our Contributor Zone.
When we wrote the last edition of this letter, we were about to enter IMDb’s 30th anniversary year with rather different plans than what ultimately turned out in reality. No words can adequately convey the impact the events of 2020 have had on all of our lives. However, we hope you have all been able to stay safe and well during what has been a tough year across the world. While the rest of this letter will take a positive tone, we felt it important to acknowledge the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic and also to highlight just how much work remains to be done in building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive society; IMDb is committed to using our influence, data and tools to help improve the entertainment industry.
IMDb is built by you, our data contributors, so we first want to thank you all for helping us to grow by record amounts during our 30th anniversary year - whether you made a single update or whether you were the top contributor in the list below.
We have a simple statement to capture the vision we are trying to achieve: “IMDb powers the creation, discovery and enjoyment of entertainment everywhere” and we think about our customers across several categories: entertainment fans who visit our free site and mobile apps; entertainment professionals who we help to navigate their industry; advertisers whose support helps us invest in & grow IMDb; and it all starts with our contributors who help make IMDb the most complete, accurate & timely source of global information. These factors motivate us to take IMDb to more countries, to offer IMDb in more languages, and to make everything available on more devices. Even after 30 years there is still so much more we can deliver with your help and therefore so many more places we can make the data you contribute available.
The table at the end of this message shows the number of approved, non-duplicate data items which the Top 300 contributors have submitted in 2020, including corrections and deletions. New records have once again been set in terms of the total number of contributors (800,000+), the overall volume of data contributed, and improvements in the speed of publishing.
IMDb now includes:
- Over 7.5 million titles with more than 1 million added in 2020
- Over 11 million names with more than 800,000 added in 2020
- Over 135 million filmography credits with more than 14 million added in 2020
- Nearly 5.5 million user reviews with over 800,000 added in 2020
The total size of the database recently crossed 400 million data items.
To put some of the above growth into context, it took IMDb 17 years to reach our first one million titles and you have contributed over one million titles in 2020 alone! Additional statistics are available in the press room.
This year nearly 17,000 items were required to make it onto the Top Contributors list.
... From a contributor perspective by Jennifer Reiley ...
Although 2020 has been an incredibly difficult time, now more than ever, the value of entertainment is apparent. From the global phenomenon of the Tiger King, enjoying Hamilton from our living rooms, and finally seeing Tenet -- the first Hollywood blockbuster to open in theatres after the pandemic shutdown -- we have been adapting along with the industry in order to provide you with the best possible contributor experience.
This year, we saw a record number of contributions, including more unique contributors, which we were able to process quicker than ever! We have been working hard behind the scenes to make sure your contributions and contacts remain our top priority.
In 2020, we were particularly excited to launch a mobile friendly version of our primary contribution interface from our apps, which has full parity in contributable data types from title, name and company pages. As fans across the world shift to consume entertainment on various devices, we understand the need to provide the ability to contribute beyond desktop.
Additionally, based on your feedback, we added the ability to add Series End Years via the contribution interface. This has been a long-standing request for contributors to be able to self-serve. In the past, this was only possible by reaching out to the IMDb support team with the info - this is now a lot easier and quicker! Since launching, updates to Series End Years have markedly increased so we thank you for taking advantage of this change.
We also continue to invest in IMDb Answers in order to surface high-value content that has not yet been added to IMDb and will provide additional benefits to IMDb customers. We strive to make IMDb Answers a fun way to share your knowledge and increase content coverage across fourteen countries. The question feed can be customized to your area of interest and knowledge as well. For example, if you are interested in adding movie posters for Germany, simply choose the country you want to contribute to and the type of data and click “Go”! IMDb Answers uses real-time pageviews by IMDb customers from specific countries and populates movie showtimes data for movies currently in theatres. These contributions also count toward your end of year contribution numbers, and you can track the status of your contributions as usual.
You may have also noticed that our community page underwent a refresh this year. The IMDb Community Forums migrated from GetSatisfaction to Sprinklr. The new Sprinklr community offers additional features and functionality, so stay tuned for updates and continue to share your feedback! As with GetSatisfaction, Sprinklr is the destination to keep up-to-date on new feature announcements, and to share your own ideas and requests via the Ideas section.
As you know, this year IMDb celebrated its 30th birthday. Along with recognizing the Top 300 contributors this year, to mark the occasion, we have also added the Top 300 contributors over the last 30 years which required over 100,000 items! Thank you for your dedication!
We are grateful to all of you that share our passion for providing entertainment information across the globe.
Here’s to a happy and healthy New Year!
Jennifer Reiley IMDb Operations Program Manager... From a customer perspective by Col Needham ...
We are continuing to update the website with the launch of our new home page, placing more emphasis on what to watch, along with a dedicated Watch page to assist you in your viewing decisions. We now have over 50 streaming providers to help you find where to watch your chosen shows and movies. We also updated our photo gallery and video pages. The new design is also available for opt-in beta testing on title pages and you can take a look here. All of these pages use a responsive design which works across large screens through to smaller mobile browsers, making it easier for us to more quickly launch new features consistently across IMDb.
Although we were able to produce our Sundance Studio and Oscars coverage as usual in the early months of the year, the pandemic soon impacted events for the rest of 2020, and we switched to a virtual event coverage model. This provided opportunities to diversify our coverage including working with: the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge; the American Black Film Festival; the Curbside Shorts 2-Minute Film Challenge; and the UNHCR Films for Hope. We continue to work with ReFrame on their ReFrame Stamp initiative to highlight gender balanced TV and film productions.
We expanded IMDb Originals to include two new podcasts: Movies That Changed My Life which is available wherever you normally obtain your podcasts; and That Scene with Dan Patrick which is an exclusive with Amazon Music. Find out more in our Podcasts section.
For US customers, we continued to add movies and shows to our free advertising supported streaming service, IMDb TV which is available directly on IMDb and on most of the devices which have access to Amazon Prime Video.
This was a great year for our mobile apps which also added many what-to-watch and where-to-watch features as described in the release notes in the iOS and Android stores. Our iOS app includes more local language content beyond English, helping to bring IMDb more easily to a global audience.
While there were fewer theatrical releases in 2020, many people had more time to watch movies and shows at home, and IMDb's traffic and engagement likewise increased. We expanded our email program to include a new Streaming Guide and a newsletter-style Watch Guide - control your free email subscriptions via our email preferences page. You can also follow us on our various social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube. Across social we experimented with Instagram AR filters, interactive voting brackets, animated character posters, and data-driven infographics.
For our entertainment industry professional customers, we made many improvements to IMDbPro and Box Office Mojo. We launched a new home page on IMDbPro, including: an updated news experience with categorizations; personalised Track updates; and a Latest Attachments module. We redesigned the Jobs feature. We enhanced the IMDbPro lists service and launched a beta Add-On product, Discover, to aid decision-makers in staffing their projects.
Our year always ends with our Best Of section where you can catch-up on all of the entertainment trends from the year and add top shows and movies you may have missed to your IMDb watchlist. The section includes Anya Chalotra accepting her IMDb "Breakout" STARmeter award - joining past recipients in our new section for the award.
If you would like to join our team and help IMDb deliver on our 2021 plans, please see our jobs page.
Thanks again for all of your support during the year. As always, ideas and constructive feedback are welcome via Sprinklr, where you can also propose and vote upon ideas, including those pertaining to the following topics: IMDb, data, iOS, Android and IMDbPro. This letter will be posted to Sprinklr. If you are not in the Top 300 contributors this year and would like to know how much data you contributed along with your position outside of the Top 300, please post a reply to the announcement on Sprinklr.
We wish you a Happy New Year!
Col Needham IMDb Founder and CEO on behalf of the whole IMDb Team