IMDb.COM (Finally) Adds Streaming Video
IMDb.com will feature a rotating selection of video content from providers such as "CBS, Hulu, Sony Pictures Television and over 500 independent filmmakers." Content will include current TV shows such as Heroes, Battlestar Galactica, and The Office; and even "classics" such as, Star Trek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The A-Team. Because of its partnership with Hulu, viewers will also be able to see some TV season premiers online before their actual official broadcasts:
- Knight Rider on September 24
- Lipstick Jungle on September 24
- Chuck on September 29
- Life on September 29
- 30 Rock on October 23
There is also a selection of fairly recent movies, such as Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Liar Liar, and Behind Enemy Lines. The "Classic Movies" selection includes titles such as Some Like It Hot, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Longest Day. A selection of current movie trailers is also available.
In addition to the traditional Hollywood fare, IMDb.com is also allowing independent filmmakers to upload their films, trailers, and clips for streaming as well. Currently, the rights-owners of the videos can upload videos for movies that already have IMDb.com pages, are under 45 minutes, and are 850MB or smaller QuickTime video files. IMDb.com explains that while this is the current file size limit, it hopes to expand this soon. The uploads actually take place on IMDb.com's sister site, Withoutabox, which is designed as hub to help connect independent filmmakers and film festivals.
As you might expect, all of the streaming video include in-video advertising, including the trailers and independent films. Every video streaming page also includes a prominently placed link for how users can report "offensive or copyrighted material," in order to request that video be "taken down."
Time will tell if the inclusion of video streaming will bring more users to IMDb. com or if it will just provide a quick-fix to those who already peruse the site. With the possible exception of the independent films, all of the content is available elsewhere and in far more elegant user interfaces than the rather simplistic one that IMDb.com offers. Then again, the IMDB.com streaming feature is still a "Beta," so the site site might still have a few tricks up its sleeve. As the site is an Amazon-owned company, there is a cadre of innovative developers potentially available to work their magic.