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The Business of Content

Dec 13, 2018

Name just about any media beat, and you’ll find plenty of people trying to predict the future. Political pundits argue over who will win the next election. Finance journalists report on economic forecasts and claims from analysts over where a stock will be six months from now. Even entertainment bloggers will try to hash out which film, song, or TV show will win at the next awards ceremony.

But in most cases, those predictions will be wrong. In fact, many studies have shown that a crowd of everyday people will, on average, make better predictions than the experts who work in that particular field. That’s why a lot of attention has been paid lately to betting markets, which can provide real-time odds for any particular outcome ranging from a presidential election to winner of the best picture Oscar.

There’s just one problem: most states outlaw online gambling, meaning many of the most well-known betting markets don’t operate within the U.S. But a relatively new prediction market app, called Futuur, gets around this hurdle by using fictional currency.

I interviewed Tom Bennett, the founder of Futuur, about how his app works and how its predictions matched up against those made by other famous forecasters like FiveThirtyEight.