Control, Flexibility, Happier Customers, More Revenue
John Aalbers, CEO, Arts Alliance Media
The digital cinema revolution has already happened. Or has it? The exhibition industry has changed immensely in the last 10 years, with over 92% of the world’s screens now digital. But although hardware has moved from 35mm to digital almost everywhere, projection is just the tip of the iceberg and there is much more potential of digital still to realise.
It’s About More Than The Projector
The changes brought by digital projectors and content have been significant – not only do audiences get better quality screenings, but content is easier to move around and operations become more centralised and efficient. And once your screens are connected the possibilities become even greater.
Think of the switch as similar to the progression from early computers (which took up an entire room, required lots of knowledge to operate, and had limited functionality), to the personal PC (which was in homes and offices and could do a lot more) to now, where we have computers on our desks and in our pockets with a powerful operating system and software. Using a projector and thinking that’s where it ends is like using your expensive smartphone solely for making phone calls. When you have that operating system and the software it enables, it opens up everything.
More Than Just A Cinema
Similarly, your business can become much more than just a cinema. By using the full potential of digital you can become a dynamic, market-focused business.
Most cinemas are still operating as if they were still in the 35mm world – playing the same film in the same screen for the whole run, regardless of who wants to see it or when they might be in the cinema. But audiences are different at different times – any cinema operator will be able to see that they might have, for example, older cinema-goers early in the day, children on Saturday mornings, and teens on a Friday night. So why not make programming more relevant by matching your scheduling to your audience?
Giving audiences more choice means they can see what they want and when they want, encouraging people to go to the cinema more often and creating a culture where the cinema is high on the list of people’s choice of leisure activity. Visitors that are more easily segmented into demographic groups also provide you an important extra revenue stream through targeted advertising. Additionally, by taking the opportunities to make your own marketing more targeted and relevant, you can further increase your customer base.
So What Are The Business Benefits of Flexible Programming?
- Relevant content and scheduling:
- Increasing the frequency of cinema-going by making the right content available at the right time
- Targeted marketing:
- Knowing who is in your cinema means you can reach them with relevant messages, be it showing them the most relevant trailers or giving them exclusive content
- Relevant advertising:
- When you know who your audience are, cinema advertising becomes a much more attractive option for brands, and connected circuits provide them with visibility and flexibility
- Maximum customer experience:
- Making the cinema experience more relevant and personalised creates a better customer experience. Using better audience data allows you to continue improving and tailoring your customer experience.
If You’re Not Connected, You’re Missing Out
To enable all this your screens need to be connected. A Theatre Management System at each site means flexible programming is easy. Adding a centralised circuit management system gives you complete control over all your sites, no matter how remote, and enables you to automate your scheduling and pre-show, making it even easier to target your audience more effectively. Access to all your data in one place, and the ability to incorporate third party data, makes your targeting and insight significantly more relevant.
Maximise Customer Experience
Customer experience is what differentiates your cinema. You may not be able to change the films you get, and there’s only so much you can do with bigger seats or better sound, but the customer experience is all up to you. If, however, your managers and staff are spending most of their time handling the operational aspects – building playlists, scheduling advertising, checking KDMs – then there’s little time left to spend with customers. But by minimising the time taken to do these tasks, and having them done by one person in head office rather than at each site, you free up your cinema managers to do what they do best, and you can focus on what matters most – your customers.
You already have the foundations to create a truly viewer-centric cinema experience. Drop us a line to see how Arts Alliance Media solutions can help you build on those foundations to realise the full potential of digital.