ByBen Kubota, writer at
I'm saving the world at night, that's why I'm always so tired in the morning. product guy at, talk to me via twitter @omdb.
Ben Kubota

This post is going to be a personal one and not related to my role here at Moviepilot. Heck, this goes back to a time where Moviepilot didn't even exist, or was even thought of. This goes all the way back to the time when I first started my journey as an entrepreneur.

The first project I started in 2005 was an attempt to create an alternative to one of the most important websites in my life, at that time, an alternative to IMDb. I've always been a movie fan. I loved to explore movies from different decades, different genres and different countries. 2005 was the year, where I discovered and explored the rich movie and anime culture of Japan. It was also the time where I realized, that IMDb is neither complete, nor correct... and most importantly, that the data of IMDb is not free to use.

I wanted to create a catalogue of all of my DVD collections. I wanted to create lists of DVDs that I still needed to buy. I wanted to organise my appetite for more brilliant movies, shows and stories. But organising shouldn't include entering all of the data, cast, covers and other information that are part of my collections. I searched for a free movie database and found none. So I decided my first project should be a free movie database, that could replace IMDb.

That project was called I coded the site late at night after my regular job, I was so passionate that I even coded on my weekends. I did whatever was necessary to create an open and free wiki-based software that allowed people to enter structured movie data, as well as encyclopedic texts. In 2006, I launched the project - with help from a number of brightly talented and skilled people from the Berlin startup scene.

In 2008 I helped to launch, an earlier (and German) version of a modern movie related website. was started by two friends of mine; Tobi and Jon, and I joined as the technical co-founder. So I had to leave omdb behind. The project has now taken on two key forks. One fork is still running as omdb, the other fork is now known as Both forks seems to be doing well, and I'm still very, very proud that both used my code and the dataset that I created back then.

Let's fast forward to today...

My journey ended last summer, with the acquisition of by French publisher Webedia. So I consider my 3rd startup and I'm glad that I could start it again with my dear co-founders Tobi and Jon. just passed a personal milestone of mine. We surpassed IMDb in unique visitors in the US! I know, is not the same use-case and is not even exactly in competition with IMDb but we both share the love for movies and the need to present beautiful gems to a wide audience while both paying great respects to the medium we love, all things cinema, television, and film. I started my journey to beat IMDb in numbers, and now I have*. With a different project, with a different idea, at a different time, and standing side by side with IMDb to provide information and excitement for my passion.

I can't help but feel an enormous sense of giddy pride and accomplishment for all of the hard work the entire Moviepilot crew - from staff members to our beloved contributors - has done, and a very satisfying sense of closure.

*) This is based on Quantcast numbers, Comscore numbers might differ and I'm aware, that the IMDb has a much bigger worldwide audience. Moviepilot is focusing on US visitors (80% of all visits). Quantcast is counting US visitors only, and as IMDb is not directly measured by Quantcast, the numbers might even be inaccurate. But hey, let me feel proud of what we have achieved, one milestone at a time.


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