Will Google Search Movie 'Watchlist' Predict Academy Award Winners?

The search feature that Google added in late December that allows movie and television buffs to create watch lists to keep track of the content they view, might become one of the most heavily used attributes during the next month.

On Monday the movie industry announced the nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards, scheduled to take place on Feb. 9. No doubt movie buffs will want to create a watch list to monitor their viewing of the nominations for best picture, including “Ford V Ferrari,” “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker,” “Little Women,” “Marriage Story,” “1917,” “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood,” and “Parasite.”

An aggregated list of nominees pulled from Watchlist users and run through algorithms should provide Google with the data to make accurate predictions, similar to the way they predict the outcome to other events such as the Super Bowl. 



Google’s function, only available on the mobile web or the app on Android and iOS, changes the text to “Watched” once the movie is viewed. The technology ties the list to Google’s bookmarking feature spanning across Maps, Search, and the web.

Movies still in theaters also get a “Get tickets” button that switches to the “Showtimes” tab, according to 9to5Google. The feature was initially spotted on Reddit.

“I noticed recently that when I search for a movie on Google there's an option to click "Watched it?" to show that I've seen the movie,” wrote the Reddit user. “I'm wondering when this was added, if it's part of an app or something, and how I can see a list of all the movies I've marked as watched?”

The “Watchlist” creates cover art for the film or show. In the search results, when signed in, Google will note the movies also on the watchlist. The “View all” tab generates a search on the web or opens the specific section in the Google app where users can share the lists.

It’s not clear if Google will use the list to target ticket sales or associated merchandise to those searching. The complete list of Academy nominees can be found on Variety’s website.

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