MIPCOM 2018: Parrot to single out series with most in-demand audience

Parrot CEO Seger at MIPCOM

CANNES — One hot topic at MIPCOM has always been ratings and numbers. The main question everyone asks is whether there is a better way to count heads in today’s ever evolving TV landscape.

One company who thinks it has the answer is Parrot Analytics. The company, with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London and Auckland, announced Tuesday that it is launching the Global TV Demand Awards as a way to showcase its cutting edge data technologies.

The awards will be entirely data-driven and not based on any kind of jury system. They’ll be presented next January in Miami during the annual NATPE content market. The winners will be chosen as having the most audience demand globally over the course of the 2018 calendar year.

Each series is analyzed for things such as “affinity to other content,” “travelability,” “sentiment & virality” and even windowing & access.” Factors such as the political landscape, word-of-mouth and market trends are also considered.

I attended Tuesday’s MIPCOM announcement and was surprised when Parrot Analytics CEO Wared Seger read the list of five most in-demand shows, globally, so far: The Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones, Grey’s Anatomy, The Walking Dead and Vikings. Popular as they all are, haven’t all five already peaked, I asked? Grey’s in particular would seem to have been trending down for years. The Walking Dead, we are told by more traditional number crunchers, lost almost half its audience last season.

Parrot’s data seems to suggest that hit shows have a longer tail than many now realize. There are now over four billion people in the world who are on the Internet, says Seger, and many of them still like to download photos from Grey’s or tweet out praise to that night’s Walking Dead episode.

As for digital original series, Parrot claims the top 5 so far in 2018 are: 13 Reasons Why, Black Mirror, Star Trek Discovery, Narcos and Stranger Things.

I mentioned Parrot’s findings to Shaftesbury CEO and Canadian producer Christina Jennings, who sees great value in getting as much data information as possible. She’s been shown worldwide data in the past indicating, to give a hypothetical example, that Murdoch Mysteries or Frankie Drake are surprisingly popular in places such as Luxsenberg. A finding like that might simply point to pirating, she says, or it might point to sales. Either way, valuable information for anybody selling content internationally.

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