How did 2009 turn out?
Early this year I posted my predictions for 2009. In the best spirit of Robin Hanson (getting better predictions by simply tracking how close predictions matched reality), I want to see how I did.
- “Prediction markets in 2009 are going to become even more well-known and wide-spread, but there will be no single event that brings them to the attention of the public. It’s going to be a slow, but steady, growth.” – This was spot on. All of the vendors appear to be doing well, but there was no big “event” that brought everyone attention.
- “All of the prediction market vendors will mature their business offering/proposition.” – Not having been on the receiving end of any of their sales pitches, I can’t say this one is true for sure. But from their blog posts and public statements I would assess this as likely.
- “HubDub will continue to only be the only strongly popular play-money prediction market.” – Put me down as wrong on this one. Nigel and the creators of HubDub have focused their time and effort on FanDuel instead. (Rightly, for revenue reasons!) So while HubDub is still active, it’s not the hive of activity it was for a while.
- “While a couple additional software vendors may appear, I get the feeling that the market for prediction market software is largely saturated.” – This was also spot on.
- “I’m looking forward to see how the CantorExchange develops.” – Not so much a prediction, but a hope that it proved interesting. It’s taken a long time to get up and running apparently, and won’t be widely launched for real-money contracts until 2010. (If I read the website correctly.)
That said, I’m still a fan of niche, public, popular sites like HSX. They managed to turn play-money prediction markets into a real-money revenue stream by analyzing trader behaviour (which can only be seen by administrators) and selling that business intelligence to the studios. This could be replicated in many industries, such as video games or television.
A great development from InTrade
Just yesterday John Delaney of InTrade posted on his blog that InTrade will soon be offering some historical market data to the public for free. (As he notes, this means they’re losing a source of potential revenue, as historical data can be quite valuable.) This is a great development, and should be a solid source of data for people to dig in and get interested in how traders operate in a prediction market. Kudos to John for doing this.