BETTING ON A WINNER

Media Predict

Have you ever heard a new singer, seen a new actor, read a new book, etc., and said to yourself: “If I were a gambler, I would bet that this is going to be a big winner.” Well, here’s a fun and free way to do that. It’s called MediaPredict.com.

When you sing up at MediaPredict.com you get $5,000 virtual dollars. (That’s “virtual,” not real dollars.) You get to look at sample chapters of books, movie and TV trailers, and you get to buy shares in their possible success. The number of shares you buy are votes, and if others vote for the same book or show, your shares go up in price. If something looks really great, the shares may already be expensive, but they can go up to a maximum of $100.

The site is reportedly being used by publishers and entertainment show producers to gauge audience response. You can also submit your own proposals for share purchase in this audience participation market.

This kind of “opinion stock market” has been done before by academics testing the viability of political candidates and has proven to be quite reliable. The problem, of course, is the possibility of packing the ballot boxes, or in this case of getting friends, family and colleagues to wildly buy shares in your own book or idea. As they used to say in old Chicago at election time: “Don’t forget to vote early, and often.”

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