The Movie Database Support

Just wondering considering that image hosting and server costs aren't free.

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As I recall, TMDb is a subsidiary of a larger, for-profit media company, but I don't recall the company's name. I think that company pays for the maintenance of the site, but I don't know the exact legal connection between the two.

Hi @TKB21, TMDb is owned by TiVo. I've been fortunate enough to have them believe in my vision for TMDb. Without their support, there's no way TMDb would be online today. I'm pretty confident ads wouldn't even come close to cover our expenses, so everyone should be very thankful of this arrangement. :wink:

@travisbell said:

Hi @TKB21, TMDb is owned by TiVo. I've been fortunate enough to have them believe in my vision for TMDb. Without their support, there's no way TMDb would be online today. Ads wouldn't come close to covering our expenses.

Thanks Travis. Hats off to you for bringing the site where it is today. As a sole dev myself I have nothin but respect for your hustle.

Thanks @TKB21. While I have full operations financial support from them, it can be hard for me at times doing this on my own (I'm still the only dev). But hopefully I can change that this year and get some help. There's still so much to build!

@travisbell said:

Thanks @TKB21. While I have full operations financial support from them, it can be hard for me at times doing this on my own (I'm still the only dev). But hopefully I can change that this year and get some help. There's still so much to build!

I hear that. Were you acquired? Like did they eventually just...reach out to you and offer to be a silent backer?

Sort of a long story but short version: I actually sold TMDb in 2010 and since then have been acquired by larger companies 2 more times. Every step of the way someone bigger has believed in me and the work I do so I guess I've been doing something right. :wink:

@travisbell said:

Sort of a long story but short version: I actually sold TMDb in 2010 and since then have been acquired by larger companies 2 more times. Every step of the way someone bigger has believed in me and the work I do so I guess I've been doing something right. :wink:

Well deserved and thank you for taking the time out to explain. I've always been fascinated with web companies so I just wanted to ask, do you shop yourself around or do they contact you out of the blue? Sorry for the barrage of questions. Not every day (or at all) you run into webmasters of successful websites that are not only transparent but friendly 🙂.

I did a combination of both. I was working a full time job and trying to work on TMDb in my off hours but things kind of came to a head in late 2009/early 2010. I was making peanuts in donations and was having to pay a lot money out of my own pocket to run TMDb. It came down to either sell it, take investment money or just walk away. I was lucky and found some guys who loved TMDb and wanted to see it grow. So we came to an agreement and I got to start working on TMDb full time.

@travisbell said:

I did a combination of both. I was working a full time job and trying to work on TMDb in my off hours but things kind of came to a head in late 2009/early 2010. I was making peanuts in donations and was having to pay a lot money out of my own pocket to run TMDb. It came down to either sell it, take investment money or just walk away. I was lucky and found some guys who loved TMDb and wanted to see it grow. So we came to an agreement and I got to start working on TMDb full time.

Cool! Thanks for the explanation. Hoping one day I can reach that level myself.

No problem, and good luck.

Yes, thanks, Travis, for the detailed explanation and for all your tireless work. I hope you had a really restful vacation! :relaxed:

For anyone who wants to know more, here's a blurb about TiVo, the company that makes DVRs and that gobbled up several other companies before being acquired by Rovi.

Here's a NY Times article on the purchase of TiVo by Rovi.

And here's a blurb on Rovi and its history. After all the acquisitions, they are a big player in their space, holding over 6,000 patents. I believe that TiVo's architecture is now licensed by many major cable companies for their own DVR boxes.

I have owned about a dozen TiVo DVRs over the years, and their menu navigation system and other features are simply unbeatable. That's why so many others quit trying to compete with TiVo's excellent architecture and instead decided to license it from TiVo.

I currently have a TiVo Bolt and a TiVo Premiere DVR; and although I have cut the Comcast cable and now stream almost everything, I still use the TiVos hooked up to digital HD over-the-air antennas to get local TV stations for free.

Bottom line: Travis has a smart benefactor with really deep pockets. That's reassuring.

Hey, @pt100, thanks for the history lesson. It does sound like this site has solid financial backing. I, too, have owned several TiVo DVRs along the way, and they are for the most part a superior design. (My only nit pick is that there occasionally are bugs that sometimes take a while for TiVo to fix. But their 6,000+ patents imply a rather complicated architecture, so I guess we can forgive them for that.) You're right, that's why so many others have licensed their architecture.

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