How IMDB Rating Algorithm Works


IMDb is an international movie database where filmmakers canpromote their movies. However, the IMDb talent and movie pages areaccessible to all internet users across the world. IMDb allowsusers to rate and recommend exciting and quality movies to users ona scale of one to ten.

To make sure all its users have access to quality, IMDb usesdifferent metrics to rank movies. Though IMDb does not reveal thealgorithm it uses, it is evident that it ranks movies based on;

  1. Number of votes
  2. Movie ratings
  3. User reviews
  4. How helpful is the review to other users?

While IMDb uses the above metrics, it is evident that the numberof votes a movie project determines its ratings and how high itranks.

Why IMDb Rating Matters?

IMDb ratings are critical. They not only help IMDb to rank filmsbut also help users make decisions on whether to watch your movieor not. Once a new title is released, IMDb makes it available tousers. Users have the power to cast votes and review all newreleases in regards to their experience.

To keep the system fair to all each user is only allowed to rateone movie at a time. This means that one user cannot rate the samemovie twice.

However, all IMDb users, have the privilege to update theirrating often as they wish. Once a user updates the rating, the newrating overwrites the previous one. This is one of the strategiesIMDb uses to reduce ballot stuffing and maintain quality andfairness.

To makes sure users have access to high-quality movies, IMDbfurther allows users to rate other user reviews on how helpful theyare. They achieve this by prompting users to answer with a yes orno.

A user review is termed as useful if it helps other users makedecisions. For instance, if a movie is of poor quality and a userleaves a poor review, it helps other users to save time and money,and in this case, it is regarded as helpful. (what makes IMDbreview useful)

How IMDb Votes Influence What Shows On the Movie Page

Though IMDb takes into account the number of all individualvotes cast by users to compute a single rating, (According toIMDb), the arithmetic mean does not influence the final rating.After calculating the final score, IMDb displays movie ratings onthe film page.

However, this does not apply to all movies, and this is why someof the films instead of showing the ratings, display a note whichsays “Awaiting 5 votes”. It is evident that IMDb does not displaymovies with a low number of votes. IMDb treats most films with alow number of votes to have come from friends and family.

For IMDb to display film ratings, it must have received at leastfive votes. In other scenarios, a film may have received more thanfive votes, but IMDb will not display its rating. The onlysituation which can lead to this is when the film date is wrong, orthe movie is yet to be screened or released.

To ensure fairness, all the rating scheme is applied on allmovies.

Before IMDb determines the final rating, it factors out all theindividual cast votes. It also displays (detailed breakdown) allthe number of votes cast on the film page. However, not all ofthese posted votes count when computing the final film ratings. Andthis is why some movies with a high number of votes may ranklower.

Which IMDb Votes Count?

While IMDb rating scheme is majorly based on the number ofvotes, not all cast votes are used when determining the finalratings. Despite the fact that movie critics review and cast theirvotes, most of the votes come from users.

IMDb values its user experience and relies on cast votes fromregistered users rather than external factors. A movie may havereceived awards, good reviews or critics but IMDb will not put anyweight on these factors but instead its user experience.
This implies that if a movie has a high number of votes from voterswho are not IMDb registered users, it will rank lower as comparedto other films with fewer votes and a high number of cast votesfrom IMDb users.

You might have seen some of the most popular movies rank higher,and after some time, the ratings go down. The fact that a film hasreceived a high number of votes in regards to user experience doesnot mean everyone likes it. IMDb values its user experience andeach vote especially if it is from a registered user counts.

Which IMDb Votes have Weight?

As much as IMDb relies on the number of votes cast by registeredusers, some votes are considered to have more weight than others.You might have also heard people complain that some movies have ahigh number of IMDb votes but rank lower.

The reason behind this is that IMDb takes into account theauthority of the voter.

For instance, if a movie receives a vote from a registered userwho is not a regular user, chances are it won’t have much weight.Typically, votes from regular users who have voted a high number ofmovies have more influence. Depending on the user experience, votescast by regular IMDb users can either increase or decrease yourrankings.

And If a movie gets good ratings and high number of votes fromregular users, it can stand a chance of getting listed on the(IMDB) Top 250 movie list

And when someone searches your movie on google, chances are itwill pop-up with the number of ratings. If your film has poorratings, no one will have interest. But if it has good ratings andis listed on the top 250 list, it will receive more views, votes,and reviews and you will kill it.

Filmmakers who have good ratings and make it to the top 250 listhave high chances of making more sales even from new releases.Nowadays, most internet users rely on the user ratings and votes tomake purchases and having a high number of IMDb ratings can helpgenerate more sales and reduce marketing expenses. getting betterratings and votes from IMDb users.

James Walls

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