HubDub launches feature to track pundit predictions

Today Scotland-based prediction market startup HubDub, launched a new feature. PunditWatch is tracking ten pundits across four categories, politics, technology, entertainment and sports. Whenever someone makes a prediction on the tracked site, Hubdub either places the prediction in an existing HubDub market or they create a market for it. Every pundit has a shadow HubDub account as if they were playing HubDub themselves. Then HubDub’s users see those markets and start trading them, and the value of the predictions goes up and down. For example, on 12th of May we predicted that the 3G iPhone would launch in May, but the value of that prediction started to go down as May played out. Oh well. Currently, many of the open predictions for the top tech blogs are around the 3G iPhone. So we’ll have to see who wins that one…

Prediction markets are being touted as the new way to really engage users, and create more value for content providers. There are a few out there already: BluBet (more of a game than a market), The Industry Standard re-launched (with mixed results) aiming at tech, Pikum in the UK is majoring on sports, and HubDub is aiming at general US news (though it happens to be based in the UK).

Of course the serious point to all this is that HubDub will use PunditWatch it to drive users to pile in and make predictions and back their favourite news sites. To my mind this is a lot more fun than the model which the re-launched Industry Standard has come up with, and the numbers speak for themselves. Most of the Standard’s hover around the 50% mark, which indicates that not many people are actually trading on them. The Standard has 72 questions open at the moment. HubDub has 1,512.