How Market Researchers Choose Which Movies You See

Laughing tween couple eating popcorn, watching movie in movie theater

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Decision-makers in Hollywood have been searching for non-conventional market research that will lead to better outcomes in the movie marketplace. Creative and financial entertainment content is being analyzed through the use of smart data algorithms and sound market research. A considerable amount of money is allocated to the search for improved film industry research products. 

The production services resource NY411 of Variety Media explains the pivotal role that is played by enterprises that provide promotion services:

"Ad Agencies and Production Companies contains the best resources to get your production funded and buzzing. Advertising agencies, public relations firms and trailer and promo production companies will ensure your production is well talked about and well known by the time it’s released. Television, motion picture, animation and music video production companies will see that your production is fully realized."

Key Players in the Movie and TV Market Research Sector: 

Market Picture Group (MPG)

Acquired by C4 in 2014, MPG provides market research in audience test screenings, advertising testing, and audience tracking and exit polling, and pioneered using the online community to research movie scripts and tracking, tasks that were previously conducted by phone or in-person. Currently, all major market research companies conduct market research online.

MPG attracted investor and industry attention for introducing data analysis that could inform movie script story choices. MPG made a collaborative decision to spin-off as an independent company from Ipsos, the Paris-­‐based global leader in market research. Vincent Bruzzesse, president of the investment group, spoke to TheWrap

"We want to evolve our products. We want to evolve the way we talk to moviegoers with this goal in mind: is this a movie that will be well received, and at the script stage – should it be financed?"

MPG abruptly closed its doors due to Bruzzesse's decision, leaving $3 million in losses and a considerable trail of debt behind it. MPG’s coveted asset has been its industry data, but they stated:

"The new firm C4 will be able to adapt to how Hollywood is rapidly being transformed in the era of new media."

Michael Benaroya and D. Todd Shepherd, principals of Miscellaneous Entertainment, maintain that C4 doesn’t need MPG’s data as other sources can make the data available:

“We are interested in potentially making a deal to have access to that data from MPG but that data is historic and losing value by the minute. We are prepared to move forward with or without that data.” ~ Michael Benaroya (Benaroya Pictures).

Nielsen National Research Group

 Movie trailer previews and TV commercial spots are key ways to create buzz for new films. 

Shamrock Capital MarketCast  

MarketCast, which is based in Los Angeles but has a presence in New York, Boston, and London, provides market research services for the global entertainment industry. Rigorous scientific quantitative and qualitative research methods are put to use in collaborative and consulting services with entertainment companies of all types. Movie marketing strategies are based on market research that is designed to inform all phases of the film business, from early concept exploration through ancillary distribution windows. 

Because the market research industry is getting so much more robust, the data obtained and analyzed has become more valuable. Keep an eye on movie market research as it continues to evolve with technology and consumer media use.