How Does IMDb Make Money?

IMDb is the world’s biggest and extensive movie database with every information, including star cast, trivia, biographies, plot summaries, and review/ratings. The platform is considered the most authoritative online database of information on movies, TV shows, videos, games, and other online streaming content.

IMDb stands for Internet Movie Database, started as a personal hobby project by Col Needham, which is now ranked under the top 50 most visited websites. IMDb.com is a free platform to access information related to movies, TV shows, and other video content.

Nevertheless, being a free openhanded platform, IMDb generates colossal revenue for itself and it’s procurer, Amazon.com.

But how does IMDb make money?

IMDb also offers a paid membership known as IMDb Pro aimed at film industry professionals. It allows individuals to upload images to their IMDb page, select their known for and featured photos, upload a reel, view contact details and in-development titles with a 30-days free trial.

IMDb offers three different Pro plans:

IMDb pricing

  • Individual Monthly – $19.99 per month
  • Individual Annual – $149.99 per month
  • Group Plan Monthly – $79.99 per month

This is one way IMDb makes money by selling its services to film industry professionals and individuals. 

There are many other ways IMDb make money, out of which, Advertising is their primary source of revenue. However, IMDb has never revealed the exact figures but confirmed the different sources of revenue generation. 

So, let’s barge in and understand the different ways IMDb making profits!

How Does IMDb Make Money?

How Does IMDb Make Money

Col Needham, Founder of IMDb, in an interview stated the different sources of revenue for IMDb. 

Needham’s Statement – “Needham: Our first revenue is from advertising. Second is our subscription site called IMDbPro, aimed at people who work in the entertainment industry. We also license IMDb content to third parties. Last but not least, we have our publicity photos section, where people in the industry pay to upload their er own photos or production companies can upload movie posters or behind-the-scenes photographs that might help promote their films.”

CPA (Cost Per Action) Advertising

CPA advertising is focused on affiliate marketing, where an online advertisement is measured on the number of sales or leads generated. In general, advertising using costs per action involve less risk than other advertising strategies for advertisers. Because you pay only when you get a lead or a sale, you protect yourself against potentially non-convertible potentials and click fraud.

Here’s a catch!

Amazon.com acquired IMDb.com because they were a big affiliate that spread to the Amazon video and books content space. The deal for signed between Jeff Bezos and Col Needham in 1998, agreeing to IMDb working as an independent subsidiary of Amazon. 

“Amazon was primarily a bookseller but would be moving from books to other things, such as video, and he was looking for a site to partner with,” explained Needham.

Amazon.com generates 40% of its sales by its marketing affiliates, which receive 4%-15% per sale. IMDb, Netflix, Groupon and Best Buy are among their primary affiliates.

Selling Ad Spaces

IMDb offers publicity photos selection where production houses or individuals can advertise their movie posters, images, and other media formats that might help promote their content.

Third-Party Acquisitions

In 2008, IMDb bought two companies, Box Office Mojo, a service that tracks the box office earnings, and Withoutabox, to support the distribution of the goods to indigenously produced movies.

IMDb itself contains thousands of videos, which are directly accessible on the web. Filmmakers can also submit films for distribution throughout the Withoutabox programme and can also opt for it on IMDb, particularly when they are not securing a distribution deal as a part of this process.

Though branding from Amazon is easy on IMDb, these two services are clearly integrated. Amazon taps IMDb ratings for its own online video services and connects IMDb to Amazon to attempt to sell the movies it searches.

IMDb Additional Services

  • A news platform to stay tuned on upcoming movies, film shooting, projects, and others.
  • A platform to give fan-based ratings and reviews for movies and TV shows.
  • A tool to make your watchlist.
  • A place to identify the background and behind the scenes information for any movie, show, or star cast. 

The Final Takedown!

In this article, we have explained the different ways how does IMDb make money. IMDb also has some other ways of generating revenues that are not disclosed. However, the sources mentioned above are few that IMDb has confirmed. Additionally, advertising and CPAs are their major sources of earnings. 

Feel free to reach out to us for any related queries.

Cheers to IMDb!

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