How to Collect IMDB Data And Become a Film and TV Database

Film fans everywhere find the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) to be an invaluable resource. It answers every possible question you could have about a movie, television show, or any filmed piece of media, from the main actor to who was holding the boom mic during every scene. In addition to all of this valuable information about who worked on the movie, the website tracks noticeable “goofs” in movies and television shows. There is also a ton of trivia and quotes to find, in case you want to highlight a fact or point to a famous moment. Their paid service (IMDb Pro) even allows people to search casting directors and representation, which is a fantastic resource for people who are looking to book actors or directors for various reasons. Since it’s such a treasure trove of information, the perfect place to start collection film information is through collecting IMDb data.

A ton of websites and applications pull directly from IMDb data in order to build out the information they hold. If you’re working on building an application for tracking progress in watching television shows, you need to learn how to get data from IMDb so your users can see more interesting information about the television shows they’re watching. In today’s blog, we’re going over how to extract data from IMDb and use it for your benefit.

What is IMDb Data?

HTML scraper for IMDb

IMDb houses a ton of data that companies and users pull in order to build other film information service websites. The information goes deeper than just basic information about who worked on the films and television shows. If you’re building an app that compares show reviews, you can find those data points on IMDb as well.

Because of the wealth of data available on IMDb, you can learn how to use IMDb data to create hyper-specific tracking apps. If you want to create an app that specifically tells users if movies have any pets dying in them, you can use IMDb data for that by pulling plot summaries and searching through reviews for people warning others about the pet death in the movie or television show. It might sound a little silly, but the popularity of the website Does the Dog Die? proves this is important for some movie watchers. If you’re a parent bringing your kids to a fun family movie,  you might want to make extra sure that there won’t be any troubling content for them. Content checks are generally more helpful than MPAA ratings, which can be really non-specific.

Scraping IMDb data is also a great way to understand consumer sentiment about certain actors and directors and how people feel about the projects they’ve worked on. If you work at a big agency, this can be really helpful for deciding what film or television project your client should be working on. The big question is how to get enough data to give you valuable insights, and this is where web scraping IMDb comes in.

How to Scrape Data from IMDb

Web scraping IMDb

Web scraping is when you use a robot to automatically gather and deliver you data that would have taken you hours or even days to accumulate and organize. Web scrapers like Scraping Robot can be set to collect as much data as you need and then give it to you in an easy-to-read Excel or .CSV file.

When you’re building an application or using data to make a big decision, time is always of the essence. Collecting data manually by copying and pasting all of the pieces you want yourself is a laborious process. When you use an IMDb scraper, you can search for keywords or any other specifics in order to make your decision.

When you’re building an app, IMDb scraping is the best way to keep everything updated. IMDb is always updated with the most recent information about film and television, and new trailers are added to the website constantly. Apps like Letterboxd use IMDb to keep all of their basic information updated and let the users do their own rating and reviewing.

Tips for IMDb Scraping

IMDb Python scraper

Scraping is an automatic data gathering process, so a lot of websites will be programmed to ban IP addresses doing robotic activities. This isn’t because web scraping is inherently wrong, but a lot of cyber criminals and bad actors on the Internet collect sensitive information in this way. Most websites would rather be safe than sorry, so they hit the ban button pretty quickly.

You can set your scraper to space out requests for data to every give seconds instead of the less human one to two seconds. If you’re just using one IP address It’s also a good idea to divide up your big scraping tasks in order to make them a little more manageable. Even if you have a great IMDb Python scraper, spacing out your big scraping project into a few chunks will make it easier to extract data from IMDb. Like Amazon, there is so much information on IMDb that it is a better idea to divide up your project because the website will be less likely to ban your IP address.

Using a Proxy with an IMDb Scraper

How to extract data from IMDb

The most important facet of using a web scraper to collect IMDb data is the proxy. IP addresses get banned a lot when you’re using an IMDb scraper—websites are just very jumpy about the possibility of malicious actors on their websites. However, this is where a proxy comes in.

A proxy IP address provides you with a barrier between the website and your personal device’s IP address. Many individual users find proxies extremely valuable for video games, price watching, and privacy. Companies that use proxies for web scraping and data collection can get a lot more done in a lot less time.

There are three main types of proxies: dedicated, semi-dedicated, and rotating. Dedicated and semi-dedicated provide you with one proxy IP address to cover yours, but the latter is shared between a few users. A rotating proxy is the most high-level option: it switches out a new IP address whenever you need. This is super helpful when your IP address gets banned in the middle of an IMDb scraping project.

Proxies are useful for keeping your information safe at the company as well. Websites can’t track your online behavior and peg it to your personal device’s IP address. When you’re building an application or a new website, privacy is important because you’ll have a lot of proprietary data and research that you want to keep under wraps until your launch data.

Since proxies also have high bandwidth, they tend to have faster network speeds. You can do a lot more in less time with a proxy and a web scraper. You can also choose which country your proxy is located in so you can do data collection for specific parts of the world. You can also essentially work from anywhere in the world when you have a proxy to give you the option.

Best Proxies for Web Scraping IMDb

How to scrape data from IMDb

At Blazing SEO, we have a huge selection of proxies for all of your IMDb data and web scraping needs. There are two main types: datacenter proxies and residential proxies.

Datacenter proxies

If you want to save money and get a lot of IMDb data quickly, Blazing SEO’s datacenter proxies are a great option. A datacenter proxy comes from a big server: they’re all clean, unbanned IPs and you can pick it to be located in essentially any country. Blazing SEO also have a 24/7 customer service team, so no matter where you are in the world, you can get support for your proxy needs. You can get a rotating proxy for as little as $1.98 per IP address. If you are worried about investing in a new service, we can help you find a custom plan that works for whatever your business’s needs are.

Residential proxies

The difference with a residential proxy is that they appear to websites like IP addresses that originated from Internet Service Providers in the country in which they’re located. This is a great way to avoid bans when you’re using a scraper to collect IMDb data. Some websites have started automatically banning IP addresses from datacenter proxies, so residential proxies are a safer option. Blazing SEO has ethically sourced residential proxies in our residential proxy beta program that are ready to go for any companies who want to put them to work with an IMDb scraper.

Blazing SEO’s residential proxies are a fantastic investment for building a business with IMDb data because they avoid bans, keep your information safe, and let all your programs run quickly without interruption.

Final Thoughts

Web scraping IMDb

When you want to understand IMDb data, using a web scraper with a proxy is the way to go. It’s the best way to collect a high volume of data and interpret it quickly for whatever you might need. Film and TV fans pride themselves on knowing all of the trivia at the drop of a hat, so if you’re building a film and TV nerd-specific app, you want to make sure it has all of the correct information or you will get a flood of corrections. Using an IMDb scraper is an effective way to collect data for so many different reasons. It’s all there on the website waiting to be employed in some capacity.

The information contained within this article, including information posted by official staff, guest-submitted material, message board postings, or other third-party material is presented solely for the purposes of education and furtherance of the knowledge of the reader. All trademarks used in this publication are hereby acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.

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