Recently I was browsing the Yttalk forums (great forums for YouTube noobs, by the way! Just be careful with what advice you take – sometimes it’s the blind leading the blind), and came across a new website called “YouMDb”. But what exactly is it?
If you think the name sounds a lot like the film information website “IMDb“, you would be correct, because it’s basically the YouTube version of that. Much like IMDb have created a website filled to the brink with information on pretty much all films released, actors, directors, producers, and so forth, so does YouMDb aim to create a website for YouTube content creators. As you might have guessed, this got me curious! Update: YouMDb was kind enough to reply on Twitter with a few extra points. Have a look at the end of the post for the update.
If you go through their website, there is a scary lack of information on what the site is, exactly. Even the FAQ leave a lot to be desired, and focuses mostly on how they deal with advertising, memberships, and so forth. The closest I could find to a mission statement, was this one paragraph:
“YouMDb is a classified page for your YouTube and IMDb promotion. It is one of the first hybrids on the market that combines two of the biggest communities in one page! We are using YouTube features, that means you can advertise your newest YouTube videos and we also have Directories for Search Machines and other people to find your IMDb profiles or YouTube channel. Boost your STARmeter or gain more views and build your audience!”
First off, it’s important to note, that even though they link several different places to IMDb, they aren’t actually associated with each other. This is not an official branch of IMDb, or anything similar, and perhaps YouMDb should consider making that a little more clear – it’s not that they are outright hiding it, but almost. Right off the bat, however, I do see a problem coming: quality control. Now, IMDb sort of does this automatically. Frankly, there’s just not that many movie directors and actors in the world, at least not compared to YouTubers. Second, IMDb does have fees for lot of its features. If YouMDB was to actually get big, one can imagine it being spammed daily with cat videos and let’s plays, in the thousands. That said, I do find it an interesting concept.
On the upside, the site does what it says on the tin, and while it does have some fees, you don’t need to pay anything. You register on the site, and upload your videos, along with a description. Now, originally I did find a problem: on my main YouTube channel, I upload a lot of language lessons, however the site didn’t have any educational or otherwise fitting category, so I was forced to upload language learning videos in the “Vlogging” category. I should add (more on that later) that they have added a “Tutorial” category now. Not quite right, but close. Once you’ve uploaded your video, it needs to be reviewed. As far as I can tell, only your first couple of videos need to go through this review phase, and it was pretty quick, just a couple of minutes (though I may just have been lucky). And voila, your video now appears on the front page of their site, until newer videos slowly push it off the first page. But as I noted, you do need to pay for some of the features. For instance, if you want to feature your profile on their directory page, you need a “Pro Membership“. You also need to pay, if you wish to advertise your videos on the site, or refer enough users. You also get a neat little dashboard, with your referral link, statistics about your videos, where you can update your profile, and so forth. Personally, I think that’s a bit of a mistake on their end – mostly because the sites currently traffic isn’t really big enough yet, to justify an investment of 15$ a month. If you go to the directory right now, it’s mostly empty, filled with temporary “Next Here” spots instead of names. Pages like that don’t exactly make me jump out of my chair to register there, especially not since it’s a monthly fee, meaning I would have to continually pay just to be listed in their directory. Sure, this helps avoid the crazy spam problem I was talking about earlier, but right now, I think it just hinders the growth and potential of the site. Of course, this “pro membership” allows you to do other things as well, such as:
But 15 dollars can also get me 1500 views through AdWords for Video, or around 400 views with Virool. Currently, YouMDb just doesn’t bring in nearly that much traffic. Which leads me to my next point!
So what kind of results can you expect from using YouMDb? Well, as a free user, you can expect to generate perhaps a few extra views for each video you upload. When I tried YouMDb on the 16th of November, I uploaded 7 videos. Here are the stats from YouMDb so far: Review: GTO Great Teacher Onizuka (1998 Japanese TV dorama) – Friday J-Review #1 Publish date : November 16, 2013 Total Views: 0 (YouMDb page here) Review: GTO Great Teacher Onizuka 2012 (J-Drama) – Friday J-Review #2 Publish date : November 16, 2013 Total Views: 4 (YouMDb page here) Review: Rurouni Kenshin Live Action Movie (2012) – Friday J-Review #3 Publish date : November 16, 2013 Total Views: 1 (YouMDb page here) Review: Assault Girls (Japanese 2009 movie) – Friday J-Reviews #5 Publish date : November 16, 2013 Total Views: 2 (YouMDb page here) [Slow Love Song] “The Good Ones Are Always Taken” by Philip Zeplin Publish date : November 16, 2013 Total Views: 63 (YouMDb page here) Review: My Boss My Hero (2006 dorama) – Friday J-Review #4 Publish date : November 16, 2013 Total Views: 2 (YouMDb page here) How to say Love/I Love You in Japanese (Aishiteru and Daisuki) – Simple Japanese #1 Publish date : November 16, 2013 Total Views: 70 (YouMDb page here) So, in 11 days, YouMDb brought in a total of 142 views for those 7 videos, that’s 20 views per video, and one of the videos even got 0 views out of it. Of course, if I outright advertised a video there, I would expect the numbers to be higher – but not THAT much higher. Even if we take the most successful submission, my Japanese lesson, advertising would need to be 21 times more effective in order to rival a normal AdWords campaign. And frankly, I highly doubt it’ll be 21 times more effective. But how about as a free service? Well, 20 views per video isn’t a whole lot. If you follow my Rankify YouTube Course, you will be able to hit that mark without too much trouble. Heck, YouTube “Douglas MacKrell” who runs the show “Internet After Dark” recently posted, that just 1½ months after going through the Rankify course, his daily views has gone up 10 times (that’s 1000%!!!). And that’s the same price as 3 months of Pro Membership at YouMDb. It’s also a lot more than 20 views per video. That said, if you’re just starting out, every little bit helps, and in that case, YouMDb might be good for you. Obviously, YouMDb also embeds your video (though I wish they would also just outright link it), so there’s a bit of SEO goodness in there too. Then again, with the amount of scraping going on on YouTube, it might not count for a lot. Nonetheless, I would recommend new users to sign up.
The staff at YouMDb seems to be a weirdly mixed bag. One of the videos I uploaded, a staff member actually came to the video, left a comment, and tweeted it. That’s pretty cool! It’s always nice to see when the people who run sites like this, actually go out and interact with the users. The tweeted video was also “featured” on the site. But at the same time, I wrote them an email about advertising the Rankify YouTube course on their site, and weeks later, I still haven’t heard back from them, so who knows. However, in my mail to them, I also mentioned that there was no “education” category, and since then, “Tutorials” have been added (which I don’t believe was there before). I suppose “customer service”, so to speak, is still in the air. They do seem to be continually and regularly updating the site at the moment, with news updates roughly once a week, so here’s to hoping!
As it stands, I probably can’t recommend YouMDb as a paid option (perhaps it will be worth it in the future). But I can recommend it as a free option, though only if you’re not already pretty big. Though you may consider using the site as a bit of online reputation management, and generally filling out your “online profile” so to speak. Time will tell if YouMDb becomes a big enough site to bring in serious views through either advertising, or organic search on the site. So can you call it the “IMDb of YouTube“, well, I suppose you can – just because there’s not really anything else like it. I do however want to point out, that calling a site “You(Tube) Movie Database” is a little bit silly, since essentially YouTube IS a database of all the YouTube movies made! In any case, you can check YouMDb here.
YouMDb was kind enough to clarify a few things on Twitter. It seems (to me) that their contact form may have been broken, as they had never gotten my email. An “Education” category has also been added to the site. You can also see a video from themselves on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMexaZXXnYM
YouMDb seems to have shut down, and their Twitter haven’t been updated since February. Too bad!