Stephen Baker

The Boost
Home - Viewing one post

Netflix zip-code data: How about political overlay?

January 12, 2010Datamining

I've been enjoying exploring this New York Times chart on Netflix rentals, zip code by zip code. The top rental movie in my Montclair zip code, 07043, is Milk. It's also number one in nearby Maplewood, another liberal suburb (teeming with journalists). But cross into Newark, and Twilight rules. Milk falls from the charts.

It wouldn't be hard at all to overlay voting patterns on this movie info, and then to use the Netflix data to unearth pockets of one voting tribe or another. I imagine, though, that for political dataminers, this movie data simply reconfirms what they already know about the various zip codes. It's no secret that Montclair and Maplewood vote like Milk-loving Manhattanites. The political Numerati are busy studying us  block by block. (The fun and descriptive movie data would likely be more valuable to them for pitching to clients than running actual campaigns.)

Seeing all the diversity in single metropolitan areas certainly would make me rethink a lot of TV advertising. In fact, Dave Morgan's startup, Simulmedia, is busy breaking metro areas into different geographic segments, so that TV stations can segment their promotions. No sense promoting the TV equivalent of Twilight in Montclair, or Milk in Newark.

add comment share:

©2019 Stephen Baker Media, All rights reserved.     Site by Infinet Design

Kirkus Reviews -

LibraryJournal - Library Journal

Booklist Reviews - David Pitt

Locus - Paul di Filippo

read more reviews

Prequel to The Boost: Dark Site
- December 3, 2014

The Boost: an excerpt
- April 15, 2014

My horrible Superbowl weekend, in perspective
- February 3, 2014

My coming novel: Boosting human cognition
- May 30, 2013

Why Nate Silver is never wrong
- November 8, 2012

The psychology behind bankers' hatred for Obama
- September 10, 2012

"Corporations are People": an op-ed
- August 16, 2011

Wall Street Journal excerpt: Final Jeopardy
- February 4, 2011

Why IBM's Watson is Smarter than Google
- January 9, 2011

Rethinking books
- October 3, 2010

The coming privacy boom
- August 17, 2010

The appeal of virtual
- May 18, 2010