What's the best way to predict a hit? In today's blog, Dave Beasing talks about a new website that takes a novel approach to the art/science of pop culture success...and failure.
I've been wrestling with whether to confess my secret since February. Oh, why not? To my knowledge, no one who attends the same annual Oscars viewing party I do reads the JacoBLOG anyway. (No offense, Fred, but they're not in the business.)
I hadn't seen that many of the Academy Awards nominees this year. And even if I had, who would have known that "Pan's Labyrinth" would win for Best Cinematography or that "West Bank Story" would be an odds-on favorite for Best Live Action Short Film? Certainly not the partygoers who were poring over Entertainment Weekly. But I did, thanks to InTrade.com. I printed the odds from that online "trading" (they don't like the word "betting") site just before the awards ceremony.
The concept, simply put, is that Vegas is more predictive than Gallup. After all, people tend to put their money on a sure thing. Presently on InTrade, for example, Hillary Clinton is trading with a 32.7% chance of moving back into the White House. President Giuliani, you say? 13.9% chance.
Now there's a new site based on the same principle -- but using play money, since it's only a game. Check out MediaPredict.com, an online competition for the rest of us, the people who would get killed at fantasy baseball. Recently, I'm wagered that the White Stripes' new CD would debut in the Billboard Top 5, and right now I'm betting that Hawthorne Heights will get a new record deal. (Can I help it that I know their management?)
You can also evaluate and wager on new bands, book proposals, sitcom and movie pitches, you name it. Want to post airchecks for potential new air talent to learn their odds of success? MediaPredict.com is looking for new ideas, so you might propose that. Judging by some of the new morning shows we've launched in our industry, we media "gatekeepers" could use some advice.
As the founders of MediaPredict.com explain, the site is another way that consumers can, "Call the shots. Make media better." So if you want to win some cash at the next Oscars party - or pick a hit record or a new TV spot - ask for a little help. Collective intelligence is almost always right. And it sure is fun for your listeners to feel like they had a say in the matter.