Shazam is bringing its TV second-screen experience to movie theaters through a new partnership with in-cinema advertising network Screenvision.
Under their agreement, Shazam app users will be able to use their smartphones to tag pre-show ads shown before a movie starts to receive special offers, enter sweepstakes and get more product information.
It’s similar to the way Shazam users can already tag TV programs and commercials for additional content or sponsored offers on mobile devices in their living rooms. One new feature: Screenvision will air 15-second reminders within the preshow to remind moviegoers to take out their phones and get ready to use the Shazam app with ads.
Among the initial brands using the new in-cinema ad tactic is HTC, which is running a sweepstakes campaign through May 2 that provides information about the new HTC One handset and offers participants a chance to win the smartphone.
The adoption of “Shazamable” ads is part of Screenvision’s broader effort to enhance the pre-show experience and go beyond offering advertisers a captive audience. The company last year teamed with HipCricket on a two-screen initiative called Limelight, allowing patrons to participate via SMS and play interactive mobile games as part of the pre-show package of entertainment and advertising.
Screenvision also makes the Screenfanz app, which provides local movie information and allows users to earn points and take in-theater quizzes as part of the program. By leveraging Shazam’s large existing user base, the company aims to reach a larger, mobile-savvy audience already accustomed to tagging on-screen content at home.
“With our national cinema network reaching nearly 40 million moviegoers monthly and Shazam’s 90 million and growing U.S. user base, advertisers have the ultimate platform to reach the mass market and to get them to act on their message,” said John McCauley, Screenvision’s senior vice president, strategic alliances.
Beyond the Shazam deal, Screenvision is also announcing changes to the way it sells advertising in theaters at its first upfront event in New York tonight. In an effort to grab more ad dollars from television, it will work with Nielsen to offer guarantees for reaching certain demographics. To date, it has not broken down movie audiences by factors like age and gender.
Screenvision’s ad network spans 14,300 screens in more than 2,300 theater locations nationwide.