Hollywood studios are slowly waking up to the tremendous opportunity for direct fan engagement and marketing gold mine that is consumer “big data.” Companies like Facebook and Google are merely scratching the surface of the ultimate potential monetization of their big data sets. For example, in 2010 Facebook claimed that they had the largest Hadoop cluster in the world with 21 PB of storage (a Petabyte is 10 to the 15th power bytes of digital information). By June 2012, they announced the data had grown to 100 PB. On November 8, 2012, they announced the data gathered in the warehouse grows by roughly half a PB per day. The information and metadata they are collecting on all of us will ultimately provide mindbogglingly granular and predictive behavior analytics. Yes, it is eerie.
The marketing potential of big data applications on studio film marketing is not quite as eerie, but certainly important to an industry struggling to keep up. So much so that it could solve the age-old question: “I know that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” These massive data sets finally have the potential to answer “which half,” and when it comes to studio P&A spend, even half means we are talking billions of dollars.