Cinema Operators Use New Technology to Boost Ad Revenue

The cinema delivers captive audiences who are in a relaxed mood and receptive to what they see on the screen.  Over 30,000 cinema screens are available to display marketer messages and the MovieCinema Ad Council notes that advertising levels have reached at least $600 million in each of the last three years. To grow revenues more quickly, some operators are turning to  technology.

New research from the NYU Stern Center for Measurable Marketing shows that the cinema format can be as effective as TV. Analysts studying the impact of cinema advertising note that each dollar spent on marketing messages in this format generates a return that’s 37% higher than what TV delivers. Researchers point out that new time-​series based models yield a true read on sales increases and take the “interdependencies and synergies” of media mix into account. These models show the power of the cinema format.

While cinema operators understand the value they deliver, they are enhancing the services they offer to marketers in order to increase sales. National CineMedia  (NCM) has announced plans to aggressively court local advertising by rolling out its Digital Turbo system to make it easier to load digital ads. Adding this technology means that cinema operators will be able to accept ads within 72 hours of play time. Previously, advertisers were working with a 10–20 day window. That limitation made the cinema format a tough sell for some local marketers.

NCM is also seeking new ad revenue with Twitter. Using Twitter’s Amplify, NCM is looking for a marketer who will commit to a one-​year agreement to sponsor a branded entertainment series which will be shown on movie screens prior to the start of the feature film. The series will include information about the movie and its stars and will contain other Twitter information.

What do you think of these new ways to increase cinema ad revenue? Have you or your clients run a promotion in the cinema? Did you experience a solid ROI on that promotion?

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.