What is IMDB
If you are looking for references about films, IMDB is a website database related to movies, video games, short movies, television programs, actor and actress, directors, etc. Actually it is the biggest tracker network in the world with 6 million titles and 9.9 million people in its database (may 2019 stats).
Col Needham, an English software engineer, started making a list with all the films he had watched, including crew and cast details, converting it into a local database. After that, he decided to make a post in Usenet forums, so others with close interests started making their own additions to the list. By 1990, they had over 10.000 movies and TV series, including actors and actresses, directors, etc. They kept updating the list with different categories (biographies, ratings, summaries), and in 1996 it was incorporated as an independent company in the UK. In 1998, Needham attained a deal with Amazon, attaching IMDb to it as a private company.
How do IMDB reviews work
If somebody is interested on a film or TV show, they can visit any title on the database to find people’s reviews of it. Any registered user on the webpage can make a review and give a rating (out of 10) to the film or show, so anybody undecided with what to see can read hundreds of opinions and have an idea of what they are going to watch.
Reviews consist on viewers thoughts about the film (actors, plot, dialogues…), usually being very critical and serious. After writing the review, they have to decide what rating they are going to give to the title, so users also have a numeric rating to consider.
The website uses an algorithm to get the final rating of every of the titles, but they don’t reveal it to avoid manipulation. Anyway, votes come from people that already watched them, so the final rating is a good option to decide if we’re going to see it or not.
IMDB has got some features that make reviews more consistent and useful. A good example is that other users can rate a review on how helpful it is, so anybody can see if that specific review is utile or not.
Also, users can update their rating on a title as they wish, so they can give it a higher or lower score depending on different factors. A good example of this useful function can occur when a TV show launches a new season that was worse than the previous ones, so users can update their rating on the show, making it lower in this case.
Not only users can write reviews, also actors, directors,.. can access to a IMDB pro service where they can write reviews and upload photos.
Advantages of good IMDB reviews
As mentioned before, a good review can be decisive to encourage an spectator to watch a film, so reviews and ratings are so important in this type of situations.
As reviews come from users, many people can see how does a large group of common people think about any title, rather than just reading the opinion of a few experts. Regardless of experts having a deeper knowledge about the world of cinema, they can have different opinions depending on their personal tastes, so it can be misunderstanding for viewers to just read a little number of reviews when they have the option to know how hundreds or even thousands of individuals think.
Understanding this, we can say that the more good reviews a title has, the more chances we have to like it, so we can conclude that having good IMDB reviews is an important factor for people to value a title and even decide if they are going watch it or not.