Metric helps rate popularity of Western talent

BEIJING — China’s celebrity focus is very much on local stars, Hong Kong warblers, Taiwanese thesps and Korean multihyphenates, but despite the dominance of local Asian talent, there is a growing curiosity about overseas celebs, and gauging this popularity is something that can help Hollywood shingles trying to break into the Chinese market.

With this in mind, Larry Namer’s Metan Development Group has unveiled a proprietary ranking system for Western celebrities in China: the Metan Meter.

The metric, published monthly, analyzes China’s top social and digital networks, and applies a scoring system that’s based on a proprietary statistical formula and weighted measurement techniques to determine popularity.

Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga and Adele were among the foreign stars with rising Metan Meter scores in May.

“We first started Metan Meter as a guideline for our weekly entertainment news show ‘Hello! Hollywood,’ but quickly discovered the relevance and value of our data and analyses, as China expenditures in the media and entertainment spheres continue to rise,” says Namer, who moves between Beijing and Los Angeles to keep abreast of trends.

He says film or TV companies in China seeking to cast Western celebs in their productions, or global brands weighing celebrity endorsers, can benefit from the Metan Meter. Talent agencies and global advertising agencies have requested to see the data, too.

While Metan does not charge for the information, it may at some point do so for its more detailed analytical information. For now, though, its focus is to help reinforce how Metan and “Hello! Hollywood” help connect Western companies and brands to what’s happening in the Asian market, Namer says.

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