Category: Data and Decision-Making

The Christmas Chronicles Was Netflix’s Most Watched Film in the US in 2020 and Other Data Thoughts from “Who Won December”

December was a big battle in the streaming wars. The Christmas Day/end of year is becoming increasingly important to the streamers since it is the last time to grab subscribers before annual reporting. This is why the latest installment of my “Who Won the Month” series at Decider may be the most important one of ...

“The Mandalorian vs The Queen’s Gambit: Who Won November” at Decider

In what is now a recurring column, over at Decider I took a look at all the ratings data I could find to declare the streaming winner in the US for November. This one is packed with with charts, tables and data. (If you’re curious for the older editions, here’s September and July.) Also, I ...

Mulan vs Tenet: I (Don’t) Declare a Winner

At first, I was tempted to call “Mulan vs Tenet” the biggest battle of the streaming wars. Each weekend in September, we’ve eagerly awaited answers to the hottest questions in film: Will Tenet save theaters? Will Mulan blow up the model? Who is making more money? Who is WINNING?!?!? It turns out that the answer ...

Read My Latest at Decider: “‘The Boys’ Is a Hit for Amazon, But What Does That Mean?”

Last week, I threw up a quick Twitter thread on The Boys and I just turned it into a full article for Decider.  (And it’s short for me, about 800 words.) So take a read and share on social media! Appreciate it in advance. Of course, trying to judge if a series is performing well ...

Introducing “Datecdotes”, When Streaming Companies Use Data to Win the PR Wars

Here are some fun stats. What do they tell us? – Netflix over the summer had 80 million customer accounts watch one of their Netflix Original Romantic Comedies. – Netflix had 20 million streams for The Christmas Chronicles over the last weekend. – Amazon Prime/Video/Studios had 14.7 million total customers watch an NFL Thursday Night ...

Be-Twitch-ed: How On The Media Repeated a Bad Statistic and What We Can Learn From It

My favorite Chuck Klosterman rant is in his book Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs about the phrase “apples to oranges”. In short, is anything actually more similar than apples and oranges? How is that a synonym for difference? He finishes his rant with the line, “in every meaningful way, they’re virtually identical”. He’s right. It’s ...

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Why You Can’t Use Data to Predict Hit TV Series Either

A few weeks back, I explained why “small sample size” dooms any effort to use big data to predict box office performance of feature films. But what about TV shows? What about streaming services? Can’t they use advanced algorithms to predict success there? Nope. As “No, Seriously, Why Don’t You Use Data to Make Movies?” ...

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No, Seriously, Why Don’t You Use Data to Make Movies?

If you want to know the “holy grail” for data scientists, I’ll tell you: Predicting box office performance of movie scripts. Here’s how it goes. An aspiring data scientist—ranging from bright undergraduate in computer science to a Ph.D. candidate in statistics to even tenured professors—looks for a new topic. They’re bored by analyzing mortgage applications ...