If you’ve got $2,995 burning a hole in your wallet, then that’s the cost of Nielsen Analytics’ and The Movie Advisory Board’s new 100-page “Modern Movie Experience” study — billed as “a report on moviegoer behavior today, possibilities for tomorrow, and the impact of digital technologies on the movie value chain.” Quite a mouthful, that. Here’s more: “Declines in movie theater attendance, coupled with an explosion in digital entertainment alternatives, has put the movie industry under particularly intense scrutiny. Moviegoing, once seen as a staple of shared mass audience entertainment, is rapidly changing. This report follows the evolving viewpoint of the uber-media consumer, one which movie studios, theater owners, television networks, agencies and advertisers need to understand in order to keep up. ‘The Modern Movie Experience’ analyzes consumers’ movie theater attendance and consumption habits, and sheds new light on why U.S. theater attendance has declined.” It’s based on an analysis of over 2,600 Movie Advisdory Board members. Also explored are consumers’ usage and preferences of movie technologies such as DVD, VOD, the Internet, and subscription services (i.e. NetFlix or Blockbuster). Feel free to email me a copy once you’ve bought it. But if you also can’t afford it, I’m now going to save you some $$$. I haven’t read it, but how much do you wanna bet it says: Hey, if a movie is good, consumers will go see it. Otherwise, they choose to save gas and money and stay home and watch video-on-demand, cable or satellite, or a DVD. Or maybe they’ll just play a video game or listen to Ipods because most new movies suck big-time.

UPDATED: The report’s co-author Adrienne Becker explains: “Actually, the new Nielsen analysis does not paint as simple a portrait as you guessed. Certainly if a movie sucks, moviegoers are not going to pay for it in any which way; no great insight there worth the price tag. What the report attempts to explain however, are some of the forces of transformative change now taking place, providing evidence to explain the change as well as the accompanying challenges and opportunities. Let me give you an example.  We’re in a day and age of what I call “participatory media,” that is the consumer plays a greater role than just end-game consumption…in fact, the consumer can – increasingly – play a role in writing, green-lighting, funding, developing, marketing and distributing content, and in this case, long form content. So, it is one hypothesis based on the insights of over 2,600 moviegoers, that if you further empower their participatory role, you can keep them engaged. Think about using digital networks to dynamically present movies in the theater based on the consumer’s expressed choice, especially when you have surplus inventory of seats and a 24/7 read on demand and price sensitivity. Or consider the possibility that moviegoers will be offered tools at the theater to edit their own trailers and distribute them right from their cell phones. Industry institutions which respect the new participant’s power and provide tools to support and manage it can survive and thrive in this new world. Entertainment today caters to personal impulse…the motion picture industry is working towards acknowledging this and adapting and the Nielsen report attempts to provide an empirical catalyst for those conversations.  If the Nielsen report can even partially achieve this somewhat lofty goal, it’s worth many millions more.”

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