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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Cinemas Must Target Millennials

It's now official, Millennials (born 1981-1999) are the largest generation in U.S. history.  There are 92 million of them vs. 77 million Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) and the Mills are moving into their prime spending years.
You have to market Mills. 'socially'

They are moving up in the corporate ranks, starting up businesses, getting married, starting families, buying homes, and looking for engaging entertainment and recreation.  The Mills differ from the Boomers in that, for example, they don't value cars and don't allocate large portions of their discretionary spending on them.  They think Uber. They think a sharing economy.  They don't value luxury the way the Boomers do. They are mistrustful of high-price points and expect brands to offer premium performance . They think iPhone.

For entertainment they like dining out, live concerts, and blockbuster films.  They will spend hundreds of dollars to attend a concert of their favorite entertainers. They like (want) immersive entertainment and experiences. Most importantly, they have different ways of engaging the world and learning about products and brands. Given this, cinemas must engage Mills and market to them on their terms. Here are some hints:

- Mills. expect premium performance but with pricing that is inclusive and within reach
- Validate businesses via social media. So if you are not marketing via social get on it.
- Spend time in digital communities, blogs, etc.
- Heavily focused on mobile-browsing and instant information gathering
- React to digital, visual-only marketing
- When engaging with a business they expect vitality, credibility, honesty
- Positive reaction to promotional events and ads

Marketing to seniors is great but they are a dying customer base (literally). All businesses need to 'sell' to millennials and it is a very different sell. You must engage them and cater to their biases.

Jim Lavorato

Monday, August 21, 2017

Paying Admissions Forward: Will It Work

 CMG has previously posted about newly-hatched subscription based services were members pay a monthly fee for the right to go to a cinema and view a movie as often as they wish - the biggest of these being 'MoviePass' . At that time, CMG reported  MoviePass was having problems scaling its operation, but last week it shocked the movie exhibition industry by announcing that is was going to allow its members to view a movie a day for a subscription fee of $9.95 per month.

AMC Theaters, the U.S.'s largest cinema chain, quickly responded by announcing that it was going to pursue legal action against MoviePass. For sure MoviePass currently loses money but its scheme is that over time movie exhibitors and the studios will recognize their value and cut them in on increased profits, principally for higher concession sales. However, one of the big stumbling blocks is that most cinemas (large or small) have their own loyalty programs and prefer to enhance these.

According to Mitch Lowe, CEO of MoviePass, "we can increase attendance on average by 111%, increasing, not only admissions, but much higher concession sales." Currently, MoviePass purchases movie tickets and re-sells the tickets to its subscribers at a much reduced rate - losing money on each transaction.  But Lowe predicts that, in "the future they will cut the company in on their additional profits. We know we have to prove the value we deliver and we should be able to work together in a constructive manner so that everybody makes more money." WOW.

Well, where should I start? MoviePass may be a great idea but its implementation is unsustainable. For early subscribers it is a great deal, but how long can it last? Unless MoviePass can get the big chains on board, it's a doomed concept, and at the moment, it looks as though exhibitors are not embracing the strategy.  Overhauling the cinema admission business is quite simple - produce and distribute movies that consumers want to go to the cinema to view. It's not as if the folks will go to the cinema more because of a cheap admission to films they don't want to see anyway.

CMG believes MoviePass is missing the motivation of moviegoers - it's not all about price but product. 

Jim Lavorato

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Online Reviews - The Terrible Truth

If your cinema has a website and/or uses social media of any sort you are going to get reviews. Online reviews can be your biggest curse or the love of your life, and are one of the few things about your business that are totally out of your control.

A few words posted next to a five-star scale rating can be do or die for a business.  A recent survey by ReportLinker found the following regarding online reviews.

- The level of trust by consumers of online reviews is incredibly high.  59% of consumers believe that online reviews are as trustful as personal recommendations, with a full 7% saying that online reviews are more trusted than personal recommendations.

-33% of consumers go to search to find reviews, with 25% going directly to review websites.  That means that two-thirds of all customers go to other websites than yours to look for reviews.

- Besides search engines, like Google, top social sites for finding reviews were Facebook, blogs, and Twitter. 

- When taking about specific product reviews, Amazon and eBay lead the way, with 57% of consumers using them for product reviews.

- 51% of the surveyed respondents admitted they had written a review within the last 12 months.  49% said they review when they are very satisfied, while 34% said they review when very dissatisfied.

- Content matters most in reviews (not credibility). 62% of consumers said that content of the review was most important and not the credibility of the reviewer - now that's scary.

CMG's advice: be on the constant lookout for reviews about your cinema and address them.  Bad reviews can be very hard to cope with but nonetheless are real and have to be addressed. Be proactive with reviews and try to return comment for good and bad reviews.

Friday, August 04, 2017

The Plot Thickens: Telecoms Enter The Arena

Media: all things, for all people, all the time
If it wasn't bad enough with the tech companies entering the media/movie business with the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Google, Apple and others entering and grabbing up media companies and film studios but now the giant telecoms are entering the arena.

AT&T purchased DirectTV in 2015 and is now awaiting regulatory approval for its acquisition of Time Warner. That purchase would provide AT&T the Warner Bros. studio, HBO, and CNN, among other digital content providers. This is the new media landscape - and telecoms, like tech companies, want in on the action and profits.

AT&T's Mobility Entertainment Group, is spearheading its foray into mass media and according to Dave Christopher, its Head, "there's this big convergence going on between telecom and media and we believe the opportunity to create new and great experiences for customers going forward."

CMG believes that there is no one-size-fits all in the entertainment sector. Investment, acquisition, and merger across the media landscape is required to meet the wide variety of consumer needs - from movies at cinemas to sports on your wristwatch. Having solutions for different customers is the name of the game for media giants: movies, streaming, social outlets, and mobile distribution are all on the agenda.  All will be important to serve-up and fill the voracious appetite for entertainment that is now global in nature.