A Bayesian Model to Forecast New Product Performance in Domestic and International Markets

Neelamegham, Ramya; Chintagunta, Pradeep
June 1999
Marketing Science;1999, Vol. 18 Issue 2, p115
Academic Journal
Abstract This paper attempts to shed light on the following research questions: When a firm introduces a new product (or service) how can it effectively use the different information sources available to generate reliable new product performance forecasts? How can the firm account for varying information availability at different stages of the new product launch and generate forecasts at each stage? We address these questions in the context of the sequential launches of motion pictures in international markets.Players in the motion picture industry require forecasts at different stages of the movie launch process to aid decision-making, and the information sets available to generate such forecasts vary at different stages. Despite the importance of such forecasts, the industry struggles to understand and predict sales of new movies in domestic and overseas markets.We develop a Bayesian modeling framework that predicts first-week viewership for new movies in both domestic and several international markets. We focus on the first week because industry players involved in international markets (studios, distributors, and exhibitors) are most interested in these predictions. We draw On existing literature on forecasting performance of new movies to formulate our model. Specifically, we model the number of viewers of a movie in a given week using a Poisson count data model. The number of screens, distribution strategy, movie attributes such as genre, and presence/absence of stars are among the factors modeled to influence viewership. We employ a hierarchical Bayes formulation of the Poisson model that allows the determinants of viewership to vary across countries. We adopt the Bayesian approach for two reasons: First, it provides a convenient framework to model varying assumptions of information availability; specifically, it allows us to make forecasts by combining different sources of information such as domestic and international market-specific data. Second, this m...


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