IMDb To Buy Online Service For Independent Filmmakers

The Internet Movie Database, an entertainment site and subsidiary of Amazon.com, said Thursday it has agreed to acquire Without A Box, an online service that helps independent filmmakers submit their works to festivals worldwide and promote movies online. Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal would broaden Without A Box's reach to movie fans. IMDb has more than 50 million visitors a month, and offers a searchable database of more than 1 million movies and TV and entertainment programs. The site also provides coverage of film festivals and major events.

Founded in 2000, Without A Box provides services to independent filmmakers and film festival organizers. For the latter, the site offers tools to manage and promote events online.

"For eight years, Without A Box has enabled filmmakers and festivals to reach the widest audience possible," David Straus, chief executive and co-founder of Without A Box, said in a statement. "Now, they will be able to connect directly with the 50 million film lovers who visit IMDb each month."

IMDb said it plans to operate Without A Box as a stand-alone operation based in the Los Angeles area. The latter company has developed proprietary tools for connecting more than 150,000 filmmakers to nearly 3,000 film festivals in 200 countries. Filmmakers can submit their work online to more than 700 festivals.

Amazon.com has developed large online stores of movies and music. The company last September launched an online store for selling music without digital rights management restrictions. Without the software, tunes bought on Amazon.com can be played on any portable player, such as an Apple iPod or Microsoft Zune.

This month, Amazon.com announced that it had signed the last of the four major record labels. Sony BMG Music Entertainment was the last of the big four to agree to sell DRM-free MP3s on Amazon.com. The other labels are Universal Music Group, part of Vivendi; EMI and Warner Music Group.

News source: Information Week
Link: IMDb | Withoutabox

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