New title type: web series

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There are an awful lot of web series being listed on IMDB and it is a different medium and usually a very different quality, compared to actual TV series, but that is how they are listed.

It might be if there is a "web" flag then that could also be applied to short films, as those that have been shown on TV and at festivals (TV shorts and film shorts) also tend to have a higher quality, as there is a higher bar for inclusion. At the moment they tend to either go under video shorts (despite very few short films being initially distributed on home media) or as simply short films.

Although the difference in quality is not a rule, if we are differentiating between broadcast mediums then we also need to include the web here somewhere and it would allow us to accurately categorise films where, at the moment, full-length films and TV movies are clearly defined and the rest (short film, video short and TV series) are such a mixed bag they might as well be the waste bin into which is swept "all the other stuff" when that needn't be the case - some way to differentiate the web releases would be the start of the process needed to sort this all out.
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Posted 7 years ago

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I thought this was a worth a bump following this discussion about people adding in things like their home movies:

Especially given this new ruling by staff, which has yet to make it into the official guidelines:

by ThomasPorter
» Tue Jun 4 2013 14:37:42
IMDb Staff Member

Hi Gromit and Les,
I can confirm that this title does qualify for listing within the database.

For one, it's on YouTube, and available on demand for public consumption. Granted it hasn't received many views, but a considerable amount of work has gone in to making it.

We are aware that we need to update our guides to reflect this change in policy - I've raised a request to get this done.

Gromit, please do go ahead and amend the cast list and movie connection as you suggest - thank you. The fact that the cast was approved incorrectly in the first place is a separate issue that I will look into.

Apologies for the delay in answering the thread,

All the best,

Which would open the floodgates to just about any film uploaded to YouTube (or, presumably, Vimeo - which people often use because of YouTube older policies on video length) which have a cast and a rudimentary script, because we'll see a flood of titles that will degrade the quality of the existing TV series, short film and video title types (if people searching through them find pages of low grade YouTube videos, they'll just bugger off somewhere else with a higher bar for admission), making the need for new "web"-based title types increasingly important.

We currently have the "web series" keyword:

But it doesn't trigger a change in title type.

There is a "web" keyword, which seems to contain web shorts, web series, a some Spider-Man video media (presumably because of his web slinging):

That could be cleaned up (with some being moved to "cobweb" or "spider web", both of which exist) and it could be used as a general trigger for generating these title types.

Or there is "web drama" which could be used in a similar way:

Or you could start a new one (like "web film"?) that would run parallel to "web series" but for standalone films (short or long).

There are also other similar "web"-based keywords that should probably be cleaned up:
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Perhaps rather than creating a new Title type IMDb could redefine the current "TV Series" as simply "Series" and add a keyword "TV-series"  to complete the definition.

With Netflix now streaming full length new Series, the differentiation between TV and Web is becoming increasingly blurred, but all Series have the major similarity that the all have Episodes subsidiary to them.

This would mean that any series would need a special keyword:


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Yeah, I'd be good with that - and you are right about the Netflix business, it is now a continuum (sometimes a series will premiere as streaming and in some territories shown on TV first, sometimes the other way around).
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That is a great idea in my humble opinion. 
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A web/ streaming category is years past due.
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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled "Webseries" Type.

Currently, there is no "webseries" type to describe accordingly such a kind of series. It has to be recorded under "TV series".  Considering that this type of program is currently booming ever the last couple of years, wouldn't it be great to add it to your "types choice" ?  Thanks for considering this ...

Mick Cant
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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Webseries Type.

As there's a growing number of high-quality webseries around the world,
projects that are made especially for internet, I think Webseries should
finally be included as a type. So that webseries aren't listed as 
TV-series. Thank you!
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Let's Go to the Movies

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Agree! There needs to a category to differentiate between Web Series and TV Series and a way to report abuse of false claims.

I had a client that did some episodes of a YouTube channel when younger and this person just put it up on IMDB but it's showing as a TV Series. This, to me, is "false advertising". They only put it up in order to ride on coattails in order to get more views of their YouTube channel and boost this person's numbers on IMDB.

Please fix this IMDB.

Thank you!
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Let's, can you please give me a link to that title and/or channel? I know it must be personal, but I want to see whether it's really that bad. 
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Let's Go: Since the idea of having a separate webseries category was suggested several years ago, some made-for-Internet series have been produced which are of a quality comparable to those on mainstream TV. A series which is produced for Netflix or Amazon or Crackle or Hulu, even though it is distributed online, is presumably something that ought to be treated similarly to a TV series made for broadcast or cable television.

However, at the same time, IMDb has eased its inclusion standards to allow a lot more made-for-Internet content into the database. As far as I know, anyone who has a video camera function on their phone and a YouTube account can upload something that will then qualify for IMDb listing if they want to submit it. It doesn't matter if the video attracts any real public interest. And later, we sometimes see here on this Get Satisfaction board people complaining that they don't want to be listed on IMDb for amateur YouTube videos that they happened to appear in.
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I totally support this, I don't like to find tons of usually lame YouTube shorts when I look for short films. Adding a special title type for web productions and webseries would allow us to filter this so we only get actual cinematographical productions.

I would also like to be able to filter tv commercials and separate them from shorts.

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There is another side of the coin as well - local TV productions from some countries, despite being shown on National TV and therefore more qualifying lack the quality even more then web content and some web content today is immensely better then a few award-winning festival shorts I have seen. 
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I agree with Gromit. Based on this board alone, it's pretty obvious that many young and/or student "filmmakers" are not fully aware what the cast & crew credits and the different occupations mean. They often list all their friends to the project and often without even consulting these people first.

Quite honestly, this is becoming a problem for IMDb, especially in the long run.
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To be fair, I consider that it might help, but as gromit82 pointed out - today the line between Web- and TV-series is generally blurred. 

As an independent filmmaker with a few titles listed on IMDb (and YouTube so far being my main asset of distribution) I should say that I generally add something of web content on IMDb because of: historical value (web series and short films which exist 5 to 10 years), amount of effort put into production (known budget, overall quality), general public interest (attracting from at least a few thousands to few millions of views) and existance of properly formatted credits. I also usually openly ask people whether they need that listed on their IMDb profile, regardless of my opinion, becuase in some cases people don't want to. 
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Re your last point, if a film is listed on IMDb, the credits should be complete as shown on screen, not omitted simply because someone doesn't want it on their "profile" (this is a database not a resume). I do agree that web productions should be listed, and I don't think IMDb will ever change that, because amateur filmmakers listing their projects helps promote the website.