Is That A Box Office In Your Pocket?

Sometimes we just want to kick back with a bucket of popcorn and watch a good movie. But there are so many questions that need to be answered first. What's playing? Which theater should I go to? What time does the show start? Did the movie get a good review? Am I going to be able to get tickets? The list just goes on and on.

As mobile devices continue to act as our personal assistants, consumers are turning to their smartphones for answers to these entertainment-related questions. So last month, RadiumOne conducted a survey examining how consumers use their smartphones to make purchase-related decisions, such as researching which movie to see, viewing trailers, and purchasing movie tickets.

Survey respondents indicated that they predominantly use the mobile Web in a research capacity. Here was the demographic breakdown of those surveyed:

  • 17.6% were ages 55+
  • 46% were ages 35-54
  • 34.9% were ages 18-34
  • 1.5% were under 18



Among the respondents, 56.9% stated that they use their phones to look up movie times, 17.3% read movie reviews on their devices, and 5.7% buy movie tickets directly from their phones, while 20.1% use their phones to watch trailers. Later, when asked why mobile users watch movie trailers on their phones, 50% again cited research as a decisive influence, suggesting that consumers are more likely to engage with interactive, contextual advertisements.

Thinking beyond the initial engagement, RadiumOne revealed that nearly 79% of the audience explicitly prefer to purchase tickets on-location at the theater, while 21% would rather buy them on their phone. Of that 21%, 16% feel safer making the purchase on a mobile app such as Fandango or What's more, advertisers and the entertainment industry would be interested to know that 63.4% responded favorably to purchasing tickets on their mobile devices if the option was presented to them after viewing a movie trailer.

With these insights in mind, it is imperative for entertainment advertisers to begin putting more thought into mobile creative to take full advantage of the mobile device's native features.

Here are some additional suggestions gleaned from our research:

  • Embed a calendar feature within the advertisement as a way that consumers can remind themselves of times/dates of upcoming shows playing near them
  • Our research shows that users are likely to buy tickets after seeing a movie trailer— include a call to action that redirects the user to purchase tickets on a mobile site
  • Be sure to provide the ability to share the ad, since personal recommendations are a major influence on purchase decisions. Advertisers can save money and build social credibility by leveraging sharing users as brand ambassadors that will excite other friends to see the movie

Advertisers should look at mobile as a clear choice for maximizing ticket sales during the holiday movie season. They need to perceive mobile as a primary tool for reaching audiences who make purchase decisions largely based on the research performed on their phones. The results of our research make it clear that consumers value relevant information, and more importantly, efficiency. By bridging advertisements and movie trailers with direct-purchase options, advertisers open up the possibility of tracking not only conversions, but also direct ROI.

4 comments about "Is That A Box Office In Your Pocket?".
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  1. Stacey Massey from , January 9, 2013 at 3:11 p.m.

    I use my phone for almost everything I do - so much easier than logging into my laptop so not surprising there is such a wealth of data available for advertisers. Great insight, thanks for sharing

  2. Timmy Nart from self, January 9, 2013 at 4:25 p.m.

    Seriously...Are there any other commentors other than the one's who work at Radiumone? Once I moved working to an agency, life was much better there. No more of made-up research numbers

  3. Sam Canchola from San Jose State University, January 9, 2013 at 4:29 p.m.

    Great suggestions. Especially the 3rd one since most of the time people go to movies as couples or in groups.

  4. Allison F from University of Redlands, January 9, 2013 at 5:15 p.m.

    Our phones have created such an convenience for on the go decisions, as Stacey said there is no surprise with the amount of data they provide. Great article!

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