IMDb launches free on-demand movies and TV shows

September 18, 2008  |  7:30am
[Above: Fever Pitch is among the free films now available on IMDb.com]

For most users, IMDb is a get-it-and-go web service for movie credits and daily features like the birthday calendar. And despite innovations over the years like open forums, trailer uploads and IMDbPro, it’s largely stayed that way. 

In a bid to change that, the site has announced it will now offer free movies and TV shows. There are 6,000 available to start, including movies like Hoop Dreams and Fever Pitch and TV shows like The Office and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The neatest addition, though, is a set of independent short films that can be otherwise difficult to find.

Although the selection is limited for now, Cole Needham, the site’s founder, has lofty hopes for the program. In a statement, he said the goal is "to show our users every movie and TV show on the Internet for free on IMDb.com."

The news is perhaps less unexpected than it seems given that IMDb is owned by Amazon.com, which has long worked to expand the way users can experience content with the aid of the web. The move also follows services like Netflix offering similar video free to subscribers as the business adjusts to the new digital landscape of content available online.

Related links:
IMDb.com
Amazon.com: Press release
Slashfilm.com: IMDb gets redesigned

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