Artificial Intelligence Comes to the Oscars

04.26.2021 | Clare Kirlin

Three of the eight nominees for Best Film at the 2021 Oscars come from streaming services: Netflix’s “Mank” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” and Amazon’s “The Sound of Metal.” Though streamers have won Academy Awards before, this year is different. Nearly 50 nominations went to streaming services this year, a sign of a shift in the streaming ecosystem: streamers are starting to operate more and more like traditional movie studios. But to match, or beat, studios, streamers have to start valuing their films as portfolio assets, not just creative outputs.

Content valuation used to be straightforward, a simple equation based on box office sales and promotional costs. While great content will always win awards, as the Oscars show us, determining the content that most deeply resonates with audiences – and will draw in the most revenue – is no longer such a simple equation. It requires a deep understanding of viewers’ behaviors and advanced revenue projections. That kind of insight comes from data.

Streamers are uniquely positioned to leverage the data that comes from their subscribers’ viewing habits. Technology can normalize and analyze the troves of searches, views, logins and streamers’ other consumer data. That’s a start. By applying AI on top of that, streamers will have access to the predictive insights and analytics that tell them, title-by-title, what their content is worth. Streamers can enter negotiations already knowing how different genres, actors, producers and the like will add or detract from a film’s value.

I recently dug into the bottom-line implications of data intelligence in my piece for Streaming Media.

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