Tvdb changes to a subscribe model

We’ve been discussing this internally and our plan is to move to TMDB as the primary data source for TV shows. The quality and completeness of data has greatly improved at TMDB and I think with some re-alignment of community resources, it can work really well as Trakt’s primary TV data source.

We’ve only recently learned about TVDB’s plans the same time you all did. We’ve also heard TVDB asking for unrealistic licensing fees to apps compared to their revenue. The alternative of charging users directly doesn’t really work either, since that means an app is dependent on user’s paying a 3rd party service to work. It’s one thing to require a free signup (if an app requires Trakt sign for example), but quite different if only paid members are allowed access.

Here’s our plan:

  1. New TV shows will use TMDB as their data source (this will happen soon)
  2. When we do nightly data refreshes, we’ll start comparing TMDB with TVDB to determine if the seasons and episodes match up. If they match, we can safely change to TMDB as the data source. If they’re different, we’ll make an internal note. (this will happen soon)
  3. Create a page on Trakt that displays shows with differences (determined in step 2) to help us and the community update the TMDB entries with any missing data. It’s entirely possible TMDB might be different, but actually the more accurate listing (for example: Pokemon – which already uses TMDB) so we can manually move shows like that to TMDB.

We already use TMDB for many things like actors, runtimes, networks, and episode screenshots. We also have a TMDB scraper that fully works with TMDB for all data (as mentioned, some shows already use this).

We’re still working out the details and would love to hear your feedback too! Once we finalize the transition plan, we’ll make a more public announcement with a call for community moderators to help add missing data to TMDB.