Movie studios are betting you’re crazy impulsive when it comes to picking what movie you want to watch. Apparently, many movie titles are selected purely on alphabetical prioritisation, so that they’ll pop up higher on your on-demand menu. If your movie isn’t good art, you’ve got to make an art out of the business side of filmmaking.
This chart produced by Quartz seems to provide some pretty good empirical evidence to back up the “alpha stacking” claim. Here, we see the number of movies on Xfinity On Demand whose titles begin with each letter of the alphabet.
Indeed, there’s a big spike at the beginning of the alphabet. Based on the distribution of words in the English language you would certainly expect lots of movies to begin with A, M or S, but there just aren’t that many words that start with B or C — or not enough to justify that big old bump in the chart.
Granted, Quartz’s only studio source backing up these claims is the Asylum, a purveyor of crappy knock-off movies that is publicity hungry as a very matter of its existence. Look at all those movie titles above — they need help.
That said, to a certain extent, this strategy makes sense. Unless you’re blessed with divine patience there’s almost no way you scroll all the way through the movies available on demand before picking what you’re going to watch. You’re much more likely scroll through the alphabetical list, and stop once you’ve found something suitable. [Quartz]