What is Internet Movie Database (IMDb)? All You Need to Know

If you’re a fan of movies or TV shows, chances are that you have heard of IMDb. But do you know how it works and its salient features? Keep reading on to find out.
What is Internet Movie Database (IMDb)? All You Need to Know
What is Internet Movie Database (IMDb)? All You Need to Know

In this digital age where internet accessibility and the standard of living are increasing by the day, cinema has become more popular than ever.

People are consuming OTT content extensively, while theaters are beginning to regain their pre-pandemic attendance levels as well. And amidst all this demand, there is no scarcity of good films and TV shows either.

But with more choices comes more stress. And so, the question arises: how to choose a good film or TV show to watch? This is where movie database platforms and rating sites come in.

IMDb is currently the most popular ratings and entertainment media database in the world. Keep on reading to learn about IMDb’s history, significance, useful features, and some cool facts.

What is IMDb?

IMDb stands for "Internet Movie Database." IMDb is a reputed platform that hosts information related to movies, television shows, video games, reality shows, and OTT content.

The information at issue refers to plot summaries, cast and crew biographies, movie trivia, trailers, release dates, official images, critics' reviews etc.

IMDb was founded in 1990 by British programmer and cinephile Col Needham as a personal movie database. The site soon evolved into an internet bulletin where other users could also add their own personalised lists of favourite movies and actors.

IMDb was acquired by Amazon.com in 1998 and is presently home to 10.1 million film and television titles, 11.5 million person records, and 83 million registered users.

How does IMDb work?

IMDb allows visitors to view the information on its site, but to add or fully utilise its services, one must create an account. Only registered users can rate the movies and edit or add information.

IMDb also has a paid version called IMDb Pro, which is primarily used by entertainment industry professionals to optimise their bio pages, add resumes, and gain insider information.

As for the rankings, IMDb allows users to rate their films on a scale of 1 to 10. The individual ratings are aggregated as one single IMDb rating, which is what you see when you search for a film or TV series. Once you rate a particular number of titles, you become a regular user. IMDb currently keeps its formula for calculating ratings a secret.

Useful features of IMDb?

While you may have already learned about IMDb ratings and how they work, the site has several other useful features as well. We’ve listed some of them below.

Database

You can record the movies or TV shows that you’ve watched on your IMDb account.

Watchlist

You can also track the movies that you wish to see on the IMDb watchlist. The site will automatically notify you of trailer releases and ticket information.

Reviews

You can add film and TV reviews for other users to read and decide on whether to watch a title or not.

Recommendations

IMDb keeps a record of everything you’ve watched and rated, and based on your viewing activity, it regularly gives personalised recommendations.

Search

IMDb has an advanced navigation system that allows users to browse for actors, directors, collaborations, etc.

Sort

You can also sort films and TV shows on IMDb as per various categories like ratings, year, genre, and language.

Content Advisory

IMDb also issues content advisories and parental guides so that people can know if a title is family-friendly. And if it isn't, then how violent or lewd is it exactly?

How to use IMDb?

IMDb has a website and a mobile application which are both fairly easy to use. Simply create an account and start using IMDb’s amazing features. You can also use your Amazon, Google, Apple, or Facebook accounts to sign in.

FAQ

How trustworthy is IMDb?

IMDb only allows registered users to rate the movies, not just any random person. This maintains its credibility. However, IMDb has no way of determining if a voter actually watched the film or not. So sometimes rating anomalies can occur, like with The Kashmir Files, which only had a 10 or 1 rating.

Are there any alternatives to IMDb?

IMDb is the leading movie database site in the world. Although there are a few alternatives, none are as extensive as IMDb. You can check out Rotten Tomatoes for film ratings and Letterboxd for personalised listing features.

What is the top-rated movie on IMDb?

The Shawshank Redemption is the top-rated movie on IMDb with a rating of 9.3/10. It’s followed by The Godfather (9.2/10) and The Dark Knight (9.0/10).
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