2010: The Year IMDb Follows Through?

The struggle to get web series listed on IMDb is a long and epic one. Although our production company has 2/3 of our major web series titles already listed on the database as TV series (A Comicbook Orange and Galacticast), my own profile is still so barren that it makes me look like a n00b because I haven't submitted other minor titles like work for hire hosting gigs, the miniseries we made for Next New Networks, guest starring roles I've done for other web series and video interviews people have done with me online. At South by Southwest this past March, IMDb founder Col Needham said that a web series category will be added to the directory in the second or third quarter of this year (ie. anytime between April 1 - September 31). Unfortunately, I realized in early October that they still hadn't made the change and I contacted Needham for a comment. On October 5, 2009 I wrote:

Hi Col!

Last time we spoke (SXSW last March) you said that labels for web series on IMDb should be pushed out in the 2nd or 3rd quarter. I just wanted to touch base and see if that's gone through since I haven't seen any changes to existing listings. Any updates on the subject that you can share?

Best, Casey

I hadn't heard back from him for a while and was starting to think the company was avoiding the issue, but on November 27, 2009 he replied as follows:

Hi Casey,

Sorry for the delayed reply … we’ve been finalizing our plans for 2010. Unfortunately circumstances changed following March and we have not yet been able to complete the work required to support web series. Much of the delay is because this area is incredibly complicated and affects a large number of IMDb software systems. We want to do this work properly to ensure that new title types of all kinds can be added more easily in future. The work has been rescheduled for 2010, but learning from past experience, we cannot be more specific on a launch date, sorry. In the meantime web series can continued to be added as if they were TV-series and will be converted over once they are properly supported.

Cheers, Col

So, for the time being, I encourage all web series creators to go ahead and submit their show as a TV series. Let's take over the site with our awesomeness... seriously. Here are a few pointers I've written down to help you get your show listed:

  • Provide detailed credits of all the people who've worked on your series
  • Include links to all of your show's online profiles, especially fan pages and Twitter profile if you have a large audience of followers
  • Link to all your major video upload sites, making sure to include sites that display high viewcounts
  • Be sure to mention any public screenings or film festivals your videos have appeared in
  • If you've received any mainstream press (newspapers, magazines, TV), provide a link to the article/segment online

No matter what you do, your title will probably not be accepted the first time. When they send you an email explaining why, wrack your brain, add more information and re-submit the title. Once the title has been added (and you may not get an email notification that it's up), go ahead and add information on specific episodes... I'm planning to do this over the holidays ;)

Hope this helps you. I also hope that IMDb follows through with their plan to add a web series category... this is a popular industry we're in, and it ain't "new" media anymore.

NewsCasey McKinnon