Monday, May 13, 2013

Non-randomness in Forbes' Celebrity 100 ranking

Some time ago I blogged about The mysterious rankings in Forbes' Celebrity 100. I noted at the time that "There are some other things that we can learn from an analysis of the Celebrity 100 list, but they have nothing to do with networks, so I will not cover them here." I will, however, cover these things now.

Each year since 1999 Forbes magazine has produced a list called the Celebrity 100, which purports "to list the 100 most powerful celebrities of the year" within the USA. The list is based on entertainment-related earnings plus media visibility (exposure in print, television, radio, and online). The 2012 list generated plenty of negative comments around the web, and my network analysis of the data showed that there is little apparent mathematical logic to some of the rankings.

However, the data do also reveal interesting patterns about the perception of celebrity in the media, provided that we accept the quality of Forbes' data (even if we find fault with what Forbes did with those data). In the graphs below I have simply used the information provided by Forbes in order to take a look at some of the features that Forbes did not comment upon.

The first graph plots the celebrity ranking by sex and "profession". Each dot represents one celebrity, with one black and one blue dot per celebrity representing their sex and profession, respectively. They are arranged in the Celebrity 100 order, left to right. You will note that the data are not randomly distributed among the groups.

The graph shows that one third of the celebrities are female, and they dominate the top 10 and the bottom 30. So, in order to get a high ranking it is best to be female but that after that it becomes a handicap.

The other groupings are based on the Forbes description of each celebrity's principal claim to fame. Clearly, in terms of celebrity status: being a musician is better than being an athlete, which is better than being an actor, which is better than being an actress. Being a TV or radio personality is not bad, either. Note that this explains the bi-modal distribution of females: the music females are in the top 10 while the acting females are in the bottom 30.

For the rest, if you are a male, then being a producer/director is marginally better than being an author, which is marginally better than being a comedian. If you are female, then  being a model is much worse than being a singer or an actress. Being an entrepreneur works only if you are Donald Trump.

The second graph compares each celebrity's money ranking (based on an estimate of their earnings) with their overall ranking. This is an attempt to see who is financially benefitting from their celebrity status (or vice versa). Once again, each dot represents one celebrity, with the location reflecting their Celebrity 100 rank (decreasing to the right, horizontally) and their earnings (decreasing towards the top, vertically). The two lines on the graph show that for most celebrities (those between the lines) their financial status closely follows their celebrity status.

However, for those at the top-left of the graph their celebrity standing is greater than they are being paid. (They are ranked in the top 30 on overall celebrity status but are not in the top 25 money earners.) This means that their manager is "not getting them what they are worth". These people are, from top to bottom on the graph:
Jennifer Aniston
Kim Kardashian
Angelina Jolie
Brad Pitt
Adele Adkins
Beyoncé Knowles
Katy Perry
Jennifer Lopez
Stefani Germanotta (Lady Gaga)
Rihanna Fenty
Justin Bieber
television personality
You will note that there are nine females but only two males in this list. Note, also, the number of singers in the list, indicating that being a singer will get you more celebrity than money.

For those at the bottom-right of the graph their celebrity standing is less than their monetary worth. (They are in the top 25 money earners but are not ranked in the top 25 on overall celebrity status.) This means that their publicity agent is not doing their job (or not being asked to!). These people are, from right to left on the graph:
Mark Burnett
Kenny Chesney
Toby Keith
Jerry Bruckheimer
James Patterson
George Lucas
Michael Bay
Howard Stern
  television producer
  country music singer
  country music singer
  film and television producer
  film director and producer
  film director and producer
  radio personality
These people are all male, so these males have more money than celebrity. Most of these men do not work directly in the public spotlight, or they prefer country music to pop music.

One can perform a similar analysis to compare the celebrities' TV/Radio rank with their Press rank. This produces a very similar graph. It turns out that the people whose TV/Radio rank is poor compared to their Press rank are mostly athletes (David Beckham, Roger Federer, Lionel Messi, Li Na, Cristiano Ronaldo, Maria Sharapova), along with one model (Kate Moss) and one producer/director (Steven Spielberg). The thirteen people whose Press rank is poor compared to their TV/Radio rank are almost all TV/Radio "personalities", as expected.

I am sure that there is more to be found in this dataset, if anyone cares to look.

1 comment:

  1. These days we have journalists reporting celeb gossip with a certain amount of credibility. They are very concerned about providing the correct updates.