If you are the largest movie website in the world, what do you do when you want to broaden your already huge readership? If you're the mighty Internet Movie Database (110 million unique visitors per month, 2 million video views a day), you take your popular mobile apps one step farther and devise a free entertainment trivia game for the iPhone and iPod Touch. (It's playable on an iPad, but in a small window.) So IMDb chief Col Needham has given movie geeks everywhere (remember Trivial Pursuits Silver Screen Edition?) something to play with while they're waiting in line. (No wonder he was advising me to switch from my BlackBerry to an iPhone at Cannes.)
Developed over a year, IMDb Trivia, complete with game categories Sneak Peak, Hollywood Hits, Family Movies, TV Favorites, and Blockbuster Films, is available for download worldwide beginning Tuesday via the iTunes App store. Needham insists that unlike many silly Facebook Hollywood games introduced of late, this one boasts five levels intended to challenge fans with movie, TV and celebrity trivia questions (and to seamlessly send readers back to IMDb’s renowned database, natch). IMDb's trivia pages get "more than 100 million page views annually," boasts Needham. "We observed huge excitement over trivia games on our message boards, with people challenging each other. IMDb users spend more than 4 million hours on IMDb.com’s trivia pages per year."
Players can publicize their scores on Facebook and compete with other players through leaderboards in the Apple Game Center. But first you have to beat the game's number one player: Needham. "The trick is you have to appeal at the right level," he says. "It's a good mix for people with good basic knowledge as well as really tough questions that even got me."
The idea is to have fun and feel smarter afterwards, says IMDb's Head of Mobile, Kintan Brahmbhatt. "And you can always dip in, pause and continue later," adds his IMDB boss.
IMDb is throwing more impressive stats around:
• To date, there have been more than 26 million installs of IMDb mobile apps (iPhone, iPad, Android and WP7) worldwide.
• IMDb’s popular iPhone and iPad app has been installed by more than 15 million users worldwide since it launched in December 2009.
• IMDb’s leading Android app has been installed more than 10 million times since it launched in June 2010.
• Year-over-year (2010 to 2011), IMDb’s app starts are on track to increase by 200%.
• IMDb’s mobile properties have more than 25 million monthly visitors.
• IMDb’s iPhone and iPad app have both been inducted into the iTunes Hall of Fame.