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The Flixster Effect: 2 Billion Movie Ratings

by Anne Thompson
October 12, 2009 7:16 AM
3 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood

Call it the Flixster Effect.

As the viral buzz pushing Paranormal Activity demonstrates, a fundamental shift is transforming how people discover movies. The studios aren't just force-feeding marketing to consumers anymore. On social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, moviegoers are telling each other what to see, which is helping to steer people toward movies with buzz (Zombieland) and away from movies with bad WOM (The Invention of Lying).

But way more user movie ratings are shared on Flixster than Twitter.

Facebook and MySpace users are familiar with Flixster.com, the movie-oriented social network, which is growing exponentially. (I'm addicted to their movie trivia quizzes.) Flixster's 6 million users have now created 2 billion movie ratings and reviews. That's a staggering number after three and half years. Flixster CEO Joe Greenstein says that Flixster users--about 20 million uniques a month-- are creating 1,000 movie ratings and reviews a minute. "Word-of-mouth and social sharing is happening so fast," he says. "We live in a hyper-connected world. It's all about interacting, rating movies, sharing with friends. And the discovery of movies and decision-making on the mobile."

Moviegoers can impulsively decide what movie to go see by checking out reviews, ratings, and trailers on Flixster, can buy their tickets and pick a restaurant for dinner via iPhone's popular Flixster app "Movies" (number 12 of all iPhone apps, 20% market share of all U.S. iPhone users), and can check into their Netflix queue or download a movie from iTunes, as well.

Meanwhile, Flixster is collecting data about their users which they can use to target advertising. And the studios are very interested in that info.

UPDATE: More Americans are using social networks than ever.

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More: Web/Tech, Digital Future, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook

3 Comments

  • ESW | October 13, 2009 7:28 AMReply

    Love it! Unlike those other evnironments, Flxster is primarily a place to chat with friends about movies -- ticketing, renting have come as afterthoughts, but now that they're here, they're integrated seamlessly.

    People are using Flixster to talk about movies, to spread that word among Facebook friends. That it's working really indicates to me that Flixster is in it for the long haul and really understands how moviegoers operate. I just hope the meaintream media isn't as snail-slow as usual to get this story into the trades and the primary business papers. The more people realize that they've got a strong business model and really are looking for more NEW ways to find and discover movies (newspapers really are just about dead), Flxister's aggressive, multi-platform functionality will really set it apart, I think!

    Now that Flxister can ticket, it's only a matter of time before people begin using one single app to find a movie, buy tickets, make a dinner reservation book a cab ... all in one place! Bravo to Flixster for making this a TOTAL movie solution.

  • Miles Maker | October 13, 2009 1:54 AMReply

    Kudos guys!

    I stumbled across Flixster some time ago--love the energy and sense of community--

    Best wishes and continued success!

    Miles Maker
    Transmedia Storyteller, Movie Tech Blogger and Social Business Strategist
    Converciné Communications: http://www.convercine.org
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  • jl | October 12, 2009 11:42 AMReply

    It would be interesting (in that super nerdy way) to know if Flixster's ratings are any better/worse than Netflex or Amazon. IMHO Flixster has the unfortunate situation of being an expression of the Facebook/MySpace/Web audience of momentary concentration and nanosecond decision-making. I like the other environments since someone is typically in the process of making a film-related decision (buying, renting).

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