Startups see Big Data as Key to Revitalizing Box Office Sales

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Hollywood is investing in Big Data analysis, with several studios employing startups such as Hooked and Movio to help improve the creative and marketing aspects of moviemaking. In an oversaturated market, Startups may be the help the film needs to keep its grip on the entertainment industry.

Modern movie making technology is giving us more spectacular cinema experiences than ever before, but despite this, Hollywood is finding that younger audiences just aren’t going to the movies as often as their parents. Can big data help?

Not all movies can be a part of a huge franchise that creates its media buzz simply by using its name (we’re looking at you, Star Wars). To get more traction with new intellectual properties and standalone stories, and even to refresh old series, executives are starting to turn to data analysis to more accurately target the right audience for their film.

The move is not typical of the movie industry, where decisions are based on instinct and experience, which creates an atmosphere of uncertainty among investors who spend millions before finding out if they have gold or lead.

Studios need more predictable returns on their investments, and big data analysis can help them achieve that goal even if they have to turn to a technology that some may not want.

The Startup that Hollywood Needs

Hooked is one of the many startups being employed by the film industry, and it intends to use data to discover the next big story.

Their product uses an app that provides users with a story in the format of a text message conversation.Click To Tweet

The company has aspirations of making the next Matrix or Harry Potter, and to that end, they have made bold pitches to Hollywood that have been picked up by companies like Warner Bros. and the talent agency WME.

To gather data, Hooked gives readers a piece of a story within a few text messages, forcing them to click a button if they want to get the next piece.

The process gathers data in a deceptively simple way; it becomes apparent that a story has stopped being interesting when a reader stops clicking the ‘next’ button.

Hooked can then analyze the data that they receive from their stories to not only tell Hollywood execs if a story will or will not work, but also what parts of a story were more interesting and where that interest died out.

The app essentially gives film productions access to more organic focus groups with tools viewers already use everyday.Click To Tweet

The platform also gives creative writers a chance to ply their trade by recruiting graduates from creative writing programs to build up their library of stories. Around 9,000 stories have already been published by the platform, any one of which could be a beneficial shot in the arm for the career of the next big script author.

Other Data-Based Efforts in the Film Industry

Hooked is unique in that it targets the creative side of the film industry, but data analysis is also responsible for helping Hollywood in the areas of marketing and advertisement. For example, the startup

For example, the startup Movio has been tapped by major studios such as Sony Pictures to analyze demographic data so that movies can be measured and targeted to specific audiences.

Data analysis represents a tool that can be used by all sides of the film industry for a benefit. According to

According to Molly Schmidt, an investor at WME Ventures, for Hollywood, most films require a huge capital investment, so the more data that’s available, the easier it is to get them made.” On the creative side, that means apps like Hooked which can leverage users as focus groups, and on the marketing side studios and cinema chains can use third-party tech firms to target their advertising campaigns to maximum effect.

On the creative side, that means apps like Hooked which can leverage users as focus groups, and on the marketing side studios and cinema chains can use third-party tech firms to target their advertising campaigns to maximum effect.

In the world of film, there will always be hits and flops, but hopefully, big data analysis will allow studios to achieve more of the former and less of the latter.

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