34 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2004
Date Written: May 10, 2004
Despite the widespread popularity of online opinion forums among consumers, the business value that such systems bring to organizations has, so far, remained an unanswered question. This paper addresses this question by studying the value of online movie ratings in forecasting motion picture revenues. First, we conduct a survey where a nationally representative sample of subjects who do not rate movies online is asked to rate a number of recent movies. Their ratings exhibit high correlation with online ratings for the same movies. We, thus, provide evidence for the claim that online ratings can be considered as a useful proxy for word-of-mouth about movies. Inspired by the Bass model of product diffusion, we then develop a motion picture revenue-forecasting model that incorporates the impact of both publicity and word of mouth on a movie's revenue trajectory. Using our model, we derive notably accurate predictions of a movie's total revenues from statistics of user reviews posted on Yahoo! Movies during the first week of a new movie's release. The results of our work provide encouraging evidence for the value of publicly available online forum information to firms for real-time forecasting and competitive analysis.
Keywords: Online reviews, motion pictures, revenue forecasting, diffusion models
JEL Classification: L82, M31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Dellarocas, Chrysanthos and Awad, Neveen and Zhang, Xiaoquan (Michael), Using Online Reviews as a Proxy of Word-of-Mouth for Motion Picture Revenue Forecasting (May 10, 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=620821 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.620821