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NZ firm Parrot Analytics a high flier in global TV ratings industry


A New Zealand data science company has developed a system that measures a television programme’s word-of-mouth popularity across the globe – and it has taken off.

Parrot Analytics’ content demand metric, called demand expressions, assesses how many people are watching, streaming, downloading, blogging, mentioning or even reacting to a programme online.

Parrot co-founder and chief executive Wared Seger​ said demand expressions ranked such online actions by importance.

Video streaming an episode counted for more points than a ‘like’ on a social network did, he said.

Parrot collected more than a billion data points each day, Seger​ said.

Seger​ said he created the company because he recognised that the growing demand for video streaming platforms and subscription video services would fragment audiences, making it harder for the television industry to calculate ratings in the future.

He said innovation meant looking at an industry’s current trends to see what it’s future challenges would be and developing a solution.

“To stay ahead of the curve we need to always understand what the latest trends are.”

Before his system, he said the television industry was using decade old systems to calculate ratings.

“We are now able to compare the popularity or the demand for different content titles regardless of what platform they are on.”

Parrot Analytics’ system had been picked up by BBC Worldwide and Fox Networks, as well as Brazil’s Globo TV.

Seger​ said Parrot worked with television producers and studios at the beginning of the content creation process to show what genres and plot lines audiences preferred.

“We like to think of us as where art meets science.”

He said Parrot’s data allowed content buyers to determine how much a show or platform was worth.

It recently found that Netflix’s​ share price rose more than 12 per cent to US$123.80 (NZ$179) mainly due to the popularity of its own drama television series such as Stranger Things, Narcos​ and Luke Cage.

Parrot found that Fox Network’s The Walking Dead was North America’s most talked about and most watched show in 2016.

Game of Thrones was the most popular show on New Zealand’s Sky Television last year.

The HBO seven season series reportedly had nearly 1.2 million demand expression points in New Zealand last year.

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