514: Media Awards

Do awards & recognitions have an impact on what you read or watch?


Full episode script

When it was nominated for an Oscar award, the movie The Shape of Water saw an over 240% increase in ticket sales. Even so-called losers that didn’t see as much of a bump still saw at least a 47% increase in sales.

Fortune magazine examined what the impact might be as well in 2015, finding that, quote:

Between 1990 and 2009, movies that won the award for Best Picture immediately saw an increase in box office receipts, to the tune of $14 million on average. This phenomenon is known as the “Oscar bump,” and it’s easy to imagine that something similar happens when a show wins an Emmy. However, this often isn’t the case. In 2013, writer Don Kaplan wrote in the New York Daily News that the financial effect of winning an Emmy is noticeably less spectacular than that associated with an Oscar win, simply because of the long-term nature of the negotiations. “TV deals usually span several years,” he wrote. “In the movie business, actors, producers and directors are more like mercenaries, constantly on the hunt for a new deal — and an Oscar unquestionably helps command higher paychecks.”

This bump in audience can possibly be attributed to the pure visibility that awards and recognitions bring. And it’s not like awards come from completely unbiased sources. As Wired UK puts it:

Don’t be tricked into thinking that movie-ranking sites give some kind of objective rating on how good a film is. All three of the above sites are skewed pretty heavily towards the opinions of men. Take IMDb’s top-ranked film for example – The Shawshank Redemption. Its score of 9.3 is based on the votes of around 1.86 million IMDb users. 1.2 million of those votes came from men. IMDb does tweak its rankings to lessen the influence of particular demographics, but men often make up over 70 per cent of the voters for any film. And it turns out that men tend to look much more favourably on films with more masculine themes, or male leading actors. IMDb breaks down the voting demographics for all of its films. Take a flick through them and you’ll see that men consistently rank masculine films higher than films that feature female leads or more traditionally female themes.

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.