Over a year and a half ago I wrote an article for The Guardian entitled "Online-only shows don't rate at IMDb." At the time, there were very few web series listed on the site; Ask A Ninja was amongst the few. Today there are dozens of web series listed on IMDb, but they continue to be listed as TV Series. At SXSW this year I asked Col Needham, IMDb founder and managing director, for an update in person on whether they plan to start a category for web series.
The answer is a resounding yes. In the second or third quarter of this year (anytime between April 1st and September 30th), IMDb will roll out the ability to tag a submission as either a web series or an individual (one-off) online video.
Click on the player below for an embarrassingly mediocre audio copy of Needham's reply.
(N.B. I was asked to speak loud because the microphone wasn't functioning properly.)
This is big news... much bigger than learning that IMDb will also begin streaming videos (yay?). Of course, the announcement will beg more questions on what credentials are necessary for acceptance to the database under those categories. When I spoke with Needham a year and a half ago, he mentioned the following credentials for submitting a web series:
- Notable press coverage;
- Large view count;
- Notable enough to have its own Wikipedia page.
I'm guessing these credentials will be similar to those they will use to accept new submissions in the future. Time will tell.