Originally Posted by nataraj
That makes sense.
I wonder how Nielsen gets data. We know they don't get it off internet vendors or walmart. So in our case that leaves just BB / CC ?
In Europe you use a variety of techniques:
- First you get from the studios/publishers the number of copies in circulation. This is easy for big releases and it might be difficult for smaller ones and from indies,
- Then, if you have an "excellent" relationship with a retailer, you should be able to know pretty accurately how many copies were shipped to every store/point of sale,
- At a certain point, every store will report sales data to the centralized supply chain or whatever internal logistic entity they may have,
- Assuming you still have a good relationship with them, you'll get this feed of data or at least some excerpts. At the very worst, you have people phoning retailers twice a week,
- Another method of data gathering which is used in Europe, is to send inspectors to retailers. They usually EAN-scan the titles in the top spots to measure actual product placement, but they can also do data gathering,
- And then there are several other ways to reconcile and/or extrapolate data. A studio might already tell you how many copies they shipped in region A, how many in region B, and so on. Based on a variety of factors (importance of the store, of the city, estimated flux of consumers...) you can make a pretty good guess on the sales strength. I'm sure the same method is applied in the US -- for instance, the Sony people can estimate how many copies of Casino Royale will be sold in all the Best Buys in Colorado, compared to those that will be sold in the Washington State.
- And finally, you have all sorts of data correlation you can use for the loose ends. Any major movie will definitely have a film-to-video attach ratio, and you can fine-tune it on a national or regional level. This might tell you for instance not to expect terrific sales of Crank from the Detroit area because for some reason the box-office results from this city weren't great in the first place.
Now try to combine all these of techniques and add several other layers of processes and things I'm unaware of.