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IMDb now serves full-length videos

After years of offering only minimal video content, the leading provider of movie information on the Internet beefs up its selection with 6,000 full length TV episodes and films.

It would make sense that IMDb, the leading provider of movie and TV information on the Internet, would offer video on its Web site. After all, IMDb is a huge point of discovery of new movies for a lot of people, so the instant gratification of streaming that new movie that you just found is a big draw.

Previously, IMDb only offered videos in the form of clips and trailers. On Monday, IMDb took a step in the right direction and launched a selection of 6,000 full length films and TV episodes, available for streaming right now. All users have to do is click the big gold "Watch It" button as they are browsing through movie and TV pages.

Most of the content available is coming from Hulu, with a smaller portion from CBS, Sony, and independent filmmakers. (CNET is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.)

While it's anyone's guess as to why it took IMDb so long to realize the potential of streaming full length movies and TV episodes on their site, at least it's getting into the game now. This addition should keep users on the site longer instead of losing them to Hulu or similar sites as they search for the content that they just discovered.

This is really the first move that IMDb has made into the Web 2.0 space. VentureBeat's MG Siegler describes IMDb's user experience as being, "trapped in the 1990s." Being largely unchanged in a decade, there is a huge opportunity to introduce experience enhancing features to the site here and it looks like they are moving in that direction.

Mentioned above, IMDb is also letting independent filmmakers showcase their movies on the site. This could provide for some much needed exposure for the indie crowd as IMDb drives people down the long tail of movies. Like the video content available from Hulu, IMDb's streaming service is limited to the U.S.