Policy update: Audio only podcasts can now be listed on IMDb!

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  • Updated 2 months ago
  • (Edited)
Hey all!

We're happy to announce that as of today we'll begin accepting submissions of audio only podcasts (as you know, video ones are already eligible) to expand our data catalog. These are a hugely popular medium and something IMDb users have been asking to include for some time.

For the timebeing these can be submitted using the existing contribution interface - to do so:

  1. Head on over to the new title submission form

  2. Choose the type per the choices below:

    • If it's episodic then select the type "Made for TV" and sub-type "TV-Series"

    • If it's a one-off with no episodes then select the type "Made for Video

  3. Include the keyword "category-podcast" on the main parent series page (if there are episodes, you don't need to add the keyword to each one) 

  4. If the podcast is audio only then please also add the keyword "audio-only"

  5. A link to somewhere the podcast can be watched or listened to should be submitted in the Miscellaneous Link section, with the description "WebsiteName - Full audio", or "WebsiteName - Full video", as appropriate.
We're aware that the “TV series” and “Video” labels aren’t a great fit and that podcasts won't be clearly labeled as “Podcast” (other than the keyword which is buried in the Plot Keywords section).

However, accepting these types of title now enables us to learn a few important things before deciding whether or how to change our data structure in the future.

There's also an unknown number of video podcasts on IMDb already as the absence of a proper label has made it difficult to spot when a podcast has been approved. This change will let us start building up a catalog of podcasts now, while also tidying up our existing catalog!

You can find the title formatting for Podcasts on our help site here:

https://help.imdb.com/article/contribution/titles/title-formatting/G56U5ERK7YY47CQB


Let me know if you have any questions. 

Thanks,
Joel 
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Joel, Official Rep

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Posted 5 months ago

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Peter, Champion

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If I were to add a podcast from a long-running radio show, I assume the listing should start when the podcast started and not when the radio show started? And the contents should be based only on the podcast, not the radio broadcast?
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Joel, Official Rep

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Great question as always. 

As the radio show came first and we try to list a series by it's original release - we'll accept the earliest date for the radio broadcast too and you can add these as "episodes" too. 
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Dan Dassow, Champion

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Joel,

I'm assuming that the same applies for long-running television shows and YouTube videos.
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Phil G

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What is IMDb's definition of podcast, please? It may seem obvious to you, but I bet if you ask around you'll get many differing interpretations of what should be included.  What, in IMDb's view, are the specific aspects that distinguish a podcast from the many other forms of audio productions?

Without a clear definition, you could be opening the floodgates here... but then again, maybe that's the intention: I could equally ask why allow only podcasts, why not also allow (some of) the many other forms of audio productions? An average radio play arguably has far more in common with IMDb's core interest in movies than many podcasts, should they be eligible for listing too?

It would probably be a good idea to develop a clear policy for radio productions at least, if not all audio-only productions. Noting your reply to Peter, I don't think "has a related podcast" is really a good criterion for eligibility. If a radio show with a podcast is eligible, then shouldn't a near-identical radio show without a podcast also be eligible? If not, why not?


For the record, I have no strong opinion on which, if any, forms of audio-only productions should be eligible. I do however, think it's important to get the policy absolutely clear right from the beginning to avoid problems and the need for clean-up work later.


podcasts won't be clearly labeled as “Podcast” (other than the keyword...
Some keywords already affect display, such as tv-mini-series, tv-special, etc. Couldn't that same approach be implemented here too?

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Afshin

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Chicago cap from 1993 from five was a five
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Joel, Official Rep

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Hey all,

Thanks for this feedback.

We appreciate the definition isn't super clear cut right now and it's something we're trying to iterate on to find the best fit.

There's ongoing discussions within the team about how to really define what we consider a 'Podcast' and our current thinking is that if the creators specifically made a piece of content to be streamed or downloaded outside of a live broadcast then these will be eligible.

There is also the position that a Podcast often features one or more recurring hosts or actors engaged in a discussion about some topic or narrative.

For example, a breakfast radio show broadcasting live on it's own is ineligible unless re-packaged and made available for streaming or downloading at a later time, this can then be added. 

Of course we're interested to hear your thoughts and will expand on the idea of other audio productions soon. 

In regards to the tv-special and tv-mini-series keywords having an affect on display, you're completely right and this avenue is something we're keeping in mind.

Looking forward to your feedback.

Cheers,
Joel 
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Afshin

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Best Long T.V Series for me OZ-1998-2003
HighlanderT.V Series for 1996-1999
New York Park West for 1995-1997
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Max Flight

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The podcast community already has a definition of "podcast" and I'd suggest IMDB embrace that. A podcast is an on-demand audio or video program that has a public RSS feed. It's that simple.

What's not simple is the convoluted, confusing, incredibly outdated submission process. I hate to be negative, but it's a real mess and clearly designed for other media. I know other podcasters (professionals) who really struggled with it. I got maybe halfway through and became so agitated with the interface that I bailed out. I wasn't stumped and I wasn't unable to continue, but it was so bad that I couldn't bring myself to endure the pain of poor design. And certainly not for my two other podcasts after that! Please, pay for a re-write of that whole interface.
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Devlin Wilder

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You have it right on the money on both accounts. Col and the IMDb staff have made numerous changes and updates to the database over the years now including a fully-functioning original content streaming service BUT they REFUSE to update the antiquated submission process and actual information offering which is the original and utmost purpose of the database (being a DATABASE) to begin with. Audio offerings were never meant to be a part of the database and now that they are, they won't even give them a proper title designation so the users of the database can actually tell them apart from all the other titles and title types already listed which already make the site a cesspool of meandering information much of the time as it is. Web series never received a title designation either with thousands of them listed on the database as TV series or made-for-video when they are an entirely different part of the industry. It's honestly MADDENING.
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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Devlin Wilder, just wondering — what aspects of submission process you consider antiquated and why? 

As for web-series: it's been said quite a lot: why even try imposing the difference between web-series and TV series if difference is becoming more and more vague? A more logical step that might occur is transition to just series, dropping both web- and TV-. 
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Max Flight

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I'll answer that from my standpoint. It starts with this...

Choose the type per the choices below:

  • If it's episodic then select the type "Made for TV" and sub-type "TV-Series"

  • If it's a one-off with no episodes then select the type "Made for Video
Say what??? I'm supposed to call my podcasts "Made for TV"??? Then add another TV sub-type? Sorry, I don't play with people who insult my intelligence. Do it properly or don't do it at all.

Beyond that, the user interface looks like it was written in what, 2005? And IMDB wants generally tech-savvy podcasters to embrace this? I don't think it's going to work out so well. It didn't for me. I walked away. I know others who did the same. And one (just one) who put up with the nonsense and submitted his podcast. But he's a lawyer and you know lawyers, they love the challenge of weird and convoluted processes. The rest of us aren't so driven.

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TinyBlueDragon007

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Hello I need help my account shows error message Help us protect your account

We have detected unusual activity on your account and have locked it temporarily. Please contact customer service for further assistance. Can you please fix my account I contacted them and then no one didn't answer?
(Edited)
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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Separate and unrelated subject.

Please reference the new conversation here: Error message
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Afshin

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I don't you Know.
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Just in case anyone is interested (maybe some British IMDb staff are fans?) there is this listing for the BBC radio show/podcast

Kermode and Mayo's Film Review
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5825482/...

It was listed with very little data and a 2010 start date, which doesn't really make sense since the show started long before. My guess is that the attached director/producer added the title to build his resume. I made a few edits to let the listing cover the show more fully.

Based on Joel's reply above I wanted to add the start date of the radio show, but this is hard to determine as the show grew out of another show. Instead I added a 2005 episode, which seems to be the first podcast episode. I guess this is an example of the data problems that can arise.
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Rachel, Employee

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http://witterpedia.net/wiki/index.php/Podcast

Is a good source (recommended in the podcast) which details when it started.  The team are collating other feedback.

Oh, and hello to Jason Issacs.

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Peter, Champion

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While the site says the podcast was first released on 20 May, and this is confirmed in the opening of the podcast from that date, their source also includes episodes going back to 11 March. I used a similar source and added the 11 March episode.
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Simon Poole

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Hi Peter, Producer Simon here. Rachel emailed us this morning to let us know that podcasts can now be added to IMDb. Were very excited about this. We're going to try and track down the very first time Mark K contributed reviews to Simon's 5 Live show back in 2001 and go for this as the start date. 
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Hello Simon! And thanks. LTL, etc.
(Edited)
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Rachel, Employee

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Thanks Producer Simon,

Tinkety Tonk
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J.

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I love it!

This move was probably inevitable, given that many podcasts begin as audio-only, and then graduate to video.

Others are audio-only, but appear on YouTube as ersatz videos, with one static image used throughout.

By the way, many old-time radio shows from the 1930s-1960s have been resurrected as podcasts. Eventually you'll have to decide whether you want to start listing these as well. Note that many radio serials (The Lone Ranger, DragnetThe Guiding Light, etc.) appeared simultaneously with their television versions. By the time old radio shows appear in the database, you'll need to have a clear way of distinguishing them from TV productions.
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realLesGrossman

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Hi Joel, if the podcast started as a regular "radio show" that was also released through omni-channel on SoundCloud/Youtube/iTunes podcasts/Goolge podcasts etc, should the start date of the podcast be the 1st radio broadcast?

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J.

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I very much hope IMDb wants us to add the beginning of the radio broadcast.

(1) Most radio broadcasts don't change when they become podcasts. The podcast is simply the radio show available in a new medium.

(2) The exact date a radio broadcast became a podcast is often unknown and unknowable.

(3) Old episodes of a radio broadcast are often retroactively added to a podcast.
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MST3K (and Narnia) is Awesome

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Yippee!  Just submitted my favorite...
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Devlin Wilder

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I am a longtime data contributor to the database and highly confused as to why, if you are opening submissions for audio-only podcasts, that you do not also add a title designation for them. This goes for web series as well. Podcasts and web series are decidedly their own entity and certainly not "made-for-TV," a "TV series," or "made for video." This is honestly quite ridiculous. There is no reason for them not to have a specific designation instead of adding the keyword. That doesn't make any sense at all. The database has been around for over twenty years now. It's 2020. Your tech team has more than enough programming knowledge to make these changes, as well as to fix the bug disallowing an update on a series to made at the series level after the title has gone live which has persisted since the inception of the site. 
(Edited)
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Max Flight

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Exactly. I punched out of the process to add my three podcasts because of this ridiculous situation. And it didn't help my perception of the professionalism of IMDB.