New App Makes Cinema More Enticing for Advertisers
Second screening has become an increasingly popular phenomenon in the UK. Recent research from media law firm Wiggin found that more than 6 out of 10 web users were using a second screen while watching TV.Now a new app is taking the second screen experience to a whole new medium - the cinema. It's called Cinime and it's a joint venture between Digital Cinema Media (DCM) and Yummi. Here's how it works.Cinema-goers download the app - iOS and Android versions are available - which they can use to access exclusive offers and content when they get to the cinema. This 'bonus' content can be accessed by scanning special 'Cinime' posters in the cinema foyer and by leaving the app running during the pre-show ads.In the latter case, the app recognises audio watermarks in the ads and unlocks offers without the need for a 3G or wifi connection using Yummi's PHONiX platform. Of course, it would be rather annoying if people were fiddling with their phones while the feature movie was playing, so any content triggered by the audio watermarking remains locked until the movie has finished.Cineme is being trialed across 11 Odeon cinemas in the UK initially. If successful, the likelihood is it will be rolled out across all the cinema's that DCM represents - 3,000 Odeon, Cineworld and Vue theatres and more than 150 independent cinemas.Will it work for advertisers? Well, there's definitely an opportunity here. The FAME 2013 research found that smartphone penetration among the 3.3 million average weekly cinema-goers was 60%, well above overall adult average of 46% (TGI). And those smartphone toting cinema-goers have dead time to fill and a desire to fill it - FAME 2013 found that average dwell time in the cinema foyer of smartphone users was 15 minutes before the film begins, and 50% of those smartphone users were interested in doing some form of integrated activity with their phone in the cinema.How much cinema-goers will be prepared to stalk the foyer scanning posters for content and offers depends on the quality of that content and those offers, and their relevance to that time and that place. But just leaving an app whirring whilst watching the ads, trailers and movie doesn't require much commitment - especially if the ads begin with a timely reminder. As long as the content and offers are more engaging than a voucher for pick 'n mix, we can see consumers thinking 'why not?'For potential cinema advertisers, it certainly makes the medium more enticing. The high impact, big screen format has always been undermined by the fact advertisers have no means of turning interest into action apart from expensive foyer displays. If Cinime proves popular, it gives advertisers the opportunity to move interested consumers at least another step along the journey to purchase. And that might bring new and different advertisers into the market.We think it's an extremely exciting innovation - second screening is growing fast and there's no reason it can't be transplanted to parts of the cinema experience. We'll be watching for the results from the trial with interest.