The other day, we were scrolling through an on-demand premium movie channel looking for a movie to watch. We didn't get past "B" -- "Bourne Legacy."
That kind of viewer behavior is exactly why some movie studios are engaging in "alpha-stacking" -- choosing movie titles at the front of the alphabet.
Quartz has a graph showing the alphabetical distribution of video-on-demand movies on Comcast's cable television service Xfinity, and A, B, and C are among the top letters.
Paul Bales, of independent studio The Asylum, remarks, "It's not something we're doing. It's a choice the consumer is making. Americans are lazy people. They can't be bothered to go past 'L.'"
Bales points out that one of the top video-on-demand movies last year was "#holdyourbreath," with the hashtag symbol landing it even in front of the numerical movie titles.
Of course, as Quartz notes, alpha-stacking is hardly new. Authors and small businesses engage in the same kind of trickery. Now, even app makers are starting to do it. But as digital streaming services get smarter, using recommendations and social sharing data, the practice may not be as effective.
Until then, stay tuned for movies like "!Sharkpocalypse!," "@Last," and "$$$."