IMDb Streamlines A/B Testing and Boosts App Downloads by 443% With Branch


Media & entertainment




app install growth


increase in experiment volume

About IMDb

IMDb is the world’s most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows, and celebrities. Every month, hundreds of millions of fans and professionals from around the world rely on IMDb to discover and decide what to watch, advance their professional careers, and share their passion for entertainment. For fans specifically, IMDb allows them to discover and watch trailers for the most anticipated movies and TV shows, create and customize watchlists, receive personalized recommendations based on their preferences and streaming subscriptions, rate and review millions of movies and TV shows, and more. 

An Amazon company since 1998, the introduction of IMDb’s mobile app in 2009 unlocked new benefits for customers, ensuring accessibility and convenience for users on the go. Thanks to its commitment to innovation and rich history, IMDb continues to be an integral part of the global entertainment landscape, connecting fans with the entertainment they love.

Unlocking web-to-app potential

In 2021, IMDb recognized both a challenge and a significant opportunity to improve its organic app attribution efforts. Despite garnering organic app downloads from the Apple App Store, it saw a notable gap in downloads originating from its mobile site. For years, IMDb displayed a persistent full-page pop-up on the website that encouraged users to download the app. Though the team knew the approach wasn’t optimal for driving app downloads, it lacked the engineering and resource bandwidth to iterate on its web-to-app acquisition strategy, limiting it to three experiments annually. 

Recognizing the importance of its app customers — who exhibited higher engagement and lifetime value (LTV) than non-app users — IMDb aimed to expand its experimentation efforts and gain a clearer understanding of the impact of various marketing campaigns on app adoption. The search for a partner capable of tackling these challenges led the IMDb team to Branch, initiating a transformative collaboration that allowed them to scale their efforts and unlock invaluable insights.

Scaling experiments

In 2021, IMDb implemented Branch Journeys smart banners to advance its experimentation efforts and improve customer engagement efficiency. Focusing on user experience optimization, the team conducted 30+ experiments over the following two years using the tool — a 9x increase in experiment velocity compared to the previous period. Branch Journeys enabled IMDb to experiment with copy, overall messaging, and the physical appearance of website banners to find the highest-converting combinations.

Journeys web-to-app banner variations

Journeys web-to-app banner variations. An image showing 5 different Journeys web-to-app banner variations: Full page Top half Bottom half Bottom banner floating button

Through iterations, IMDb found that top-half Journeys banners were more effective than full-screen banners, leading to a remarkable 36% increase in app installs. 

Further refinement led the team to deploy a less intrusive bottom banner, which contributed to another substantial 20% boost in total app installs. 

A series of smartphone screen captures showing the progression of Journeys: 1. Journeys banners that let the user decide what to do (open/download app or continue on the web browser) 2. Taking the user directly to the App Store when the option for open app is selected 3. Opening the corresponding page inside the app once it is downloaded

Let’s take a deeper look at how IMDb leverages the Branch Dashboard to personalize each Journey banner depending on the audience.

Audience Engagement

A web browser screenshot from Branch Journeys showing the options when selecting the audience that you want to target for your banners.

With each Journeys banner, IMDb can engage audiences based on a variety of signals without having to rely on engineering resources. In this instance, the Journeys banner is exclusively displayed to users from India who are visiting specific pages on the IMDb site.

Dashboard Preview + Priority Ranking

A web browser screenshot of the Journeys dashboard manager where you select your priority ranking.

IMDb dashboard users can manage ongoing Journeys experiments and update them on the fly based on performance. In the left-hand column, users can observe the ‘Priority’ ranking assigned to each Journeys banner. If an end-user qualifies for more than one Journey audience/campaign, the priority is determined by the highest-priority Journey banner set by IMDb.

This sophisticated test-and-learn approach enhanced user engagement and significantly improved IMDb’s understanding of its audience’s preferences and behaviors.

Beyond Journeys smart banners, IMDb strategically employs Branch Quick Links in its email campaigns to drive users directly to relevant in-app content while preserving crucial attribution insights.

Email campaigns include Branch Quick Links

Smartphone screenshots that show user progression from the app footer included in email campaigns to App Store where the user is taken to download the app.

IMDb’s approach demonstrates its commitment to top-tier app marketing, harnessing deep linking and precise measurement to deliver targeted, impactful audience interactions.


Prior to integrating Branch, IMDb experienced attribution blindspots. Now armed with comprehensive linking and attribution data, IMDb is able to attribute app installs to specific campaign sources to unlock a clearer picture of campaign effectiveness and optimization opportunities.

Branch has transformed IMDb’s experimentation and A/B testing processes, slashing the time needed to execute tests from three or four weeks to less than 15 minutes. This streamlined process not only reduces the resource burden on development teams but also empowers IMDb to adapt and refine its strategies on the fly to better serve customers.

Within just two years of incorporating Branch Journeys and Quick Links into its app acquisition efforts, IMDb achieved an impressive 443% increase in app installs driven from its mobile website. Its Journeys A/B tests led to a +2 percentage point increase in click-through rates, marking a significant improvement in user engagement.

IMDb’s collaboration with Branch has helped advance the company’s approach to app marketing and user acquisition, redefining success in the ever-evolving landscape of digital entertainment.

Working with Branch has been a top-notch experience. It stands out as some of the best technical support I’ve ever encountered when collaborating with another team. The responsiveness is unparalleled rarely do I have to wait more than a few hours for a response. The most significant impact of Branch’s technology is the direct attribution, allowing us to measure the app install impacts accurately based on user actions taken on our website. It’s a game changer for understanding and optimizing our campaigns.”

Sean Fitzpatrick, Sr. Product Manager, Growth

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