With the huge success of its previous mobile apps in mind, IMDB unveiled on Tuesday a new app it hopes will captivate Hollywood trivia buffs.
To date, users have downloaded IMDB apps 26 million times across all mobile platforms, including 15 million on Apple's iOS and 10 million on Android, the hit site's founder, Col Needham, told CNET. All told, IMDB has about 110 million monthly unique users, and about 25 million monthly uniques for its various mobile apps.
Now the Amazon-owned service is hoping to ramp up the level of its mobile usage with the release of its first trivia app. Launched first for iOS--Android and other platforms will come later, after feedback for the iOS app is reviewed--it will be free, and come with three free game "packs" that task players with answering a wide range of questions about movies and Hollywood. Each pack has five increasingly difficult levels. In addition, said Kintan Brahmbhatt, head of mobile for IMDB, users can buy two additional packs at 99 cents each that center on TV shows and Hollywood Blockbusters, and more packs are likely down the road.
According to Needham, IMDB decided to build the trivia app because it believes its users are addicted to questions about celebrities and Hollywood. Each IMDB page includes at least one element of trivia, and in the app, there will be additional new trivia provided along with questions. "We have more than 100 million trivia-page page views," Needham said. "And [users spend] more than 4 million hours per year on IMDB trivia pages alone."
Play button on every page
At the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, in 2009, Needham suggested that a major goal for IMDB was to ensure that every title the site indexes has a play button. Clearly, this was an ambitious goal, and he didn't give a time frame for completion, but he did say he hoped that within three years, business models in the video content industry would advance to the point where "We'll laugh at how little we knew about what business models would work."
Talking to CNET now, Needham said that though IMDB hasn't yet completed the work necessary to achieve the goal, it's well on its way. He said a great many titles on the site now offer at least a playable trailer, and that many offer full playback. Still, he pointed out that licensing issues in the video content industry make it hard to imagine when each movie will be playable. "We are adding play buttons to pages as titles becoming available," Needham said. "We've seen more content come online and more of it be available. Whenever a major source comes online, we're trying to get them online and link to them so the play button will work."