This is the highest sales total that the Cinema Advertising Council has reported since it began keeping tabs in 2002 — and no doubt comes as a relief for the industry following a 1.2% downturn in 2012 and a 2.1% drop the year before. “This growth is a result of more new brands moving into cinema, the unique power of the movie theatre as a venue for creative, engaging advertising, and a movement by agencies to a more video-neutral approach that places cinema alongside TV and online platforms,” CAC President Katy Loria says. “We are optimistic about this revenue momentum, and the direction the marketplace is headed with a strong start to 2014 as we enter upfront season.” The organization says that 93 brands began advertising in theaters for the first time in 2013. It saw the most growth from automotive, consumer electronics, consumer products, retail/apparel, television and travel & leisure. National and regional sales accounted for 78.3% of sales, and rose 5.7% vs 2012. But the other category, local sales, was even stronger, rising 9.7%. The bulk of the sales are for on-screen ads. But offscreen promotions accounted for $53.8M of the total, up 10%. The CAC hopes to keep the momentum going in the upfront ad sales season with a campaign built around the tag line: “Movies Never Get Old.” The organization and its members, NCM Media and …
EXCLUSIVE: The partnership represents a slight change of course for movie theaters that have been trying so hard to persuade people to put their phones away. Venues that receive their pre-movie commercials from Screenvision soon will encourage patrons to take out their phones and use the Shazam app to help them take advantage of advertiser offers. The companies plan to formally announce the partnership today at Screenvision’s first-ever upfront presentation, although a campaign involving the HTC 1 smartphone began April 12. Screenvision will run 15-second reminders urging moviegoers to take out their phones while the ads run; the Shazam app automatically identifies the ad that’s playing. At that point, companies could transmit to smartphones opportunities to enter contests, buy something, receive additional information or samples, or watch the ad again. The No. 2 movie ad sales company says the arrangement gives it a leg up on industry leader National CineMedia.
EXCLUSIVE: Screenvision’s trying to keep the heat on industry leader National Cinemedia in the competition to dominate cinema ad sales. The firm says that it just signed a first-time agreement with Minnesota-based Mann Theaters — and renewed existing arrangements with several chains that have footholds in the midwest and south: Frank Theaters, Premiere Cinemas, CEC Theaters, Neighborhood Cinemas, and Emagine Entertainment. The agreements “represent a major step forward in our digital evolution and for the long-term growth of our company and in-cinema advertising as a whole,” says Screenvision EVP Darryl Schaffer. The company is eager to show that it’s in business for the long haul. It says that the new deals raise the average length of the remaining terms on its alliances to nine years. (Screenvision would not disclose the previous number). The average remaining term for its 12 largest partners, with more than 6,000 screens, is 15 years. Screenvision’s biggest supporters include Carmike Cinemas, Marcus Theatres, Rave Motion Pictures, National Amusements, Harkins Theatres and Malco Theatres. The company projects that by year end it will use satellites in its Digital SkyArc service to transmit ads and alternative programming to about 55% of the 14,500 screens it services. Screenvision says that 98% of the screens it serves currently receive its pre-show ads either via satellite or on a hard drive.
The ad firm’s forecast will set an upbeat tone for the Monday kickoff of the UBS Annual Global Media and Communications Conference, the widely watched series of CEO briefings that runs through Wednesday in New York. Zenith’s projected 3.5% growth, to $160.3B, contrasts with +2.2% in 2011. Much of the improvement is attributable to the predicted excitement around the Summer Olympics in London, as well as the recovery of Japan’s economy following the earthquakes and tsunami in March. That will help to drive large financial companies, retailers, and auto makers back into the ad market. Television will be the main beneficiary, with a 5.1% increase to $61.9B. But the Olympics won’t be enough to stop the ad slide at the major broadcast networks (-1% to $16.9B). The problem is the time difference with London: That “will mean fewer events airing live than there were for the Vancouver Olympics,” Zenith says. It predicts that more viewers will “tune in online to watch their favorite events rather than wait to watch pre-recorded versions.” Syndication will suffer a bigger decline (-12% to $2.2B) as studios struggle to find a daytime host who can match the popularity of Oprah Winfrey. But national cable networks including USA, TBS, and FX will continue to improve (+10% to $20.1B).
In other media: The Internet is still soaring (+16.4% to $30.3B) and will be helped in 2012 by political candidates hoping to reach voters on social media destinations led by Facebook. The Olympics …
Cinedigm Digital Media Corp announced today that it has sold off its in-theater advertising business UniqueScreen Media to Screenvision, an agreement that will also see Cinedigm partner with Screenvision to provide alternative content marketing and distribution via that growing ad network. This is another part of Cinedigm’s transformation from a distribution and hardware company to a content and software one; back in July, Cinedigm eliminated another noncore asset, selling its physical and electronic distribution business to Technicolor. It’s part of CEO Chris McGurk’s plan to focus his company on being a provider of digital entertainment to exhibitors during times when it’s tougher to fill seats at the multiplexes. In announcing the Technicolor deal, he said he envisions deals with theater owners that will let Cinedigm program venues like a TV network — offering action sports, Broadway plays, or opera on certain nights — while also providing one-off events like showing live concerts in 3D.
For Screenvision, the acquisition of UniqueScreen Media boosts its nationwide cinema-advertising network to more than 15,200 screens and its digital footprint to more than 10,600 screens. It is the market leader in the space, offering on-screen advertising, in-lobby promotions and integrated marketing programs to advertisers and exhibitors.