National CineMedia, the larger of two dominant U.S. cinema advertising networks, said total revenues increased 3.9% from $79.1 million in the first quarter of 2012 to $82.2
million in the first quarter of 2013, largely due to an 11.2% jump in advertising revenue, from $66.3 million to $73.7 million.
The ad revenue growth was partially offset by a steep drop in events revenue, with fell 33.6% from $12.8 million to $8.5 million over the same period, reflecting the decision to phase out NCM’s Fathom Business Events operations.
Looking ahead, NCM expects total revenues in the second quarter of $117 million-$122 million, representing an increase of 6% to 11% over the comparable period in 2012, and full-year revenues of $455 million to $465 million, for an increase of 1% to 4% over the full-year 2012.
Some of that growth may come from new products, as the cinema advertising network rolls out interactive and mobile channels. Last week, NCM unveiled plans for interactive “Monster Wall” video displays reminiscent of the eye-catching displays installed in some big airports, courtesy of Monster Media.
The Monster Walls -- which measure 8 feet by 10 feet and come equipped with NFC, photo-capture and augmented-reality capabilities -- are currently being tested in the lobby areas of 1- big theaters located in top markets. Passersby are invited to interact with a variety of entertainment and game content, as well as interactive advertising. If they get a positive response from moviegoers, cinema owners and advertisers, NCM hopes to expand them to other theaters in its network.
NCM has also been testing a second-screen experience using smartphones, FirstLook Sync, which allows moviegoers to interact with content on the big screen through digital watermarking technology. Currently in beta, Sync is set for a full-scale launch later this year.