Does Amazon own IMDB? What is this Amazon own IMDB?

Does Amazon own IMDB? Founder and CEO Col Needham shares the origin story of IMDb and how it became one of Amazon’s first acquisitions 25 years ago.

Col Needham recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of IMDb’s acquisition by Amazon and his 25th Amazon anniversary, making him among the 30 longest-tenured Amazon employees and the longest-tenured CEO and founder at Amazon across all companies acquired by Amazon. A lifelong movie buff, Needham drew upon his love of film and technology to create what is now the world’s most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows, and celebrities. We caught up with him to learn more.

Here’s what he had to say about the origins of his company, his passion for movies, and what it means to be an Amazon employee.

Amazon own IMDB

Does Amazon own IMDB?

In December 1997, I received an email from Amazon’s then-general counsel, saying, “Hi Col, Jeff Bezos and I were discussing film websites the other day and naturally, IMDb came up in the conversation.

We’re going to be in the UK next month and we’d love to meet with you.” Amazon had just started advertising on IMDb, and I hoped the meeting was to discuss extending the contract. At the time, Amazon only sold books and had never acquired another company.

During the meeting, I learned that Jeff actually had a much bigger idea for us to discuss—and that was Amazon acquiring IMDb. After the deal officially closed on April 24, 1998, IMDb and two other companies were announced as Amazon’s first acquisitions.

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Jeff said in the press release announcing the acquisition that he hoped IMDb would “support [Amazon’s] eventual entry into online video sales.” Today, the results of the Amazon/IMDb relationship have far exceeded this initial vision. IMDb is the No. 1 movie website in the world, with more than 200 million monthly visitors.

Our iOS and Android apps have been downloaded hundreds of millions of times, and our social media channels are followed by more than 15 million highly engaged fans. IMDb helps customers all over the world discover and decide what to watch, advance their professional careers (with our IMDbPro service), share their passions, grow their businesses, and so much more.

We receive nearly 1 million data contributions per week and our database currently includes more than 14 million titles, 12.4 million professionals, and over 1 billion user ratings. Our data helps power essential Amazon businesses and experiences, including Fire TV, Prime Video, X-Ray, and Alexa. Leading companies all over the world, including TikTok and Universal Pictures, license our data, further extending the reach and impact of our data.

Every day is genuinely an adventure here. I still run a monthly session for all new IMDb team members and I am always fond of telling people there: “You have joined us at a very exciting time.” I truly mean this, as we continually benefit from new technologies and new devices which create even more ways to reach customers with better experiences and more content. It is still Day 1 after over 9,000 days here.

What it means to be an Amazon employee

It is so good to be part of such a fabulous team at IMDb, which, in turn, is part of such an impactful and history-making team at Amazon. The people, our customer focus, and the customers themselves all make being an Amazon employee meaningful.

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I love it when I bump into someone outside of work and they spot my IMDb lapel pin and ask me if I work for IMDb. When I tell them that I do, I often hear back stories of how IMDb helped them discover a new favorite film or show, or how we have fueled their passion for entertainment.

We create innovative products, services, and experiences that engage and delight fans, professionals, and advertisers every day, all over the world. One big focus area for us is making it easy and fun for entertainment fans to discover and decide what to watch. By leveraging our database and passionate fan community to create tools that offer customers personalized viewing suggestions, IMDb helps fans spend less time searching and more time watching.

Twenty-five years into my career at Amazon, Customer Obsession continues to be one of my most personally meaningful Leadership Principles. I like to stay deeply connected to our customers, whether by chatting with other film lovers or reading discussions on our customer-facing community support platform. Customers can post questions, problems, or ideas, and people can vote on the idea or add their own twist. It is an endlessly insightful source of feedback from our most engaged customers and it helps prioritize and shape what we build next.

Amazon own IMDB

Amazon-owned IMDB is reportedly close to announcing a new streaming service

If you’re one of those people who can’t have enough streaming services, you’re in luck. IMDB — the Internet Movie Database — is expected to announce its very own streaming service, according to CNBC. The announcement is expected to be made sometime this week.

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IMDB, founded in 1990 as a fan-operated website, was purchased by Amazon in 1998 and has grown into a valuable resource for people in the entertainment industry, from actors to publicists to journalists. But it’s probably best known as the website where you can easily look up film and TV credits, or check on what your favorite actor or direct is filming next.

The new streaming service, which will reportedly offer TV shows and movies, will be a free, ad-supported video service available on Amazon’s Fire TV, which has about 48 million users. CNBC says it will be similar to The Roku Channel or the early days of Hulu, when users could watch episodes of TV with ads without a subscription. The new service will also be available to Amazon Prime subscribers, according to the report.

The Information first reported Amazon’s efforts to build an IMDB streaming service in early August. IMDB was not immediately available to comment on the latest report.

Amazon, which is already competing in the streaming space with its Prime Video service, is reportedly in talks with networks to obtain the rights to stream older TV shows and movies on IMDB’s upcoming service.

Amazon Prime’s biggest competitors in streaming right now are Netflix and Hulu, the latter of which offers both ad-supported and ad-free subscriptions. By launching a new, ad-supported streaming service from IMDB, Amazon is signaling that it’s interested in more than just growing its Amazon Prime subscription service: It’s also interested in getting a piece of the $70 billion TV advertising market.

Amazon own IMDB

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