Cutting the clutter: Spotlight Cinema Networks’ selective approach gains momentum

Cinemas Features

2014 was another strong year for Spotlight Cinema Networks. For the fourth year in a row, we posted gains in both advertising revenue and the number of exhibitors who are part of our network. In fact, every year since we were formed more than four years ago, Spotlight Cinema Networks has grown in those two critical areas.

Our pre-show design is a key factor driving our success. We redesigned it just in time for the 2013 Christmas season and exhibitors immediately loved it for its creativity, sophisticated tone and lack of advertising clutter. The advertising has high production values and we avoid spots for certain types of packaged goods that would compromise the sensibility of the environment we work so hard to create.

But Spotlight Cinema Networks’ focus on entertainment value, lack of advertising clutter and sophisticated redesign is what really distinguishes us. In particular, we feature short films–each about three minutes in length–from several sources including our new exclusive partner, the acclaimed DC Shorts, in our 20-minute pre-show. The benefit for the audience is obvious; they’re watching content rather than just advertising. It enhances their entire theatre-going experience. No other company offers this type of pre-show content. Companies that advertise in our pre-show are quality marketers who cater to upscale, influential demographics. They enjoy the benefit of our clutter-free environment where their message will stand out with an audience that is engaged and entertained. That’s one of the reasons our top advertising categories in 2014 were luxury, automotive, travel and tune-in.

Other factors also contribute to our success. Spotlight Cinema Networks’ philosophy about the in-theatre advertising experience helps shape our business model and ensures the satisfaction of advertisers, exhibitors and the theatre audience. Since our company was founded in 2010–the same year that the iPad was launched, by the way–video viewing has shifted dramatically from televisions to tablets to smartphones with four-inch screens. While these dramatic developments in technology changed consumer viewing habits, we believe that in an age of media distraction and fragmentation, nothing rivals the fully immersive and magical experience of going to a movie theatre. This experience cements in-theatre advertising’s position as a premium-marketing medium.

Furthermore, we have a deep and abiding commitment to respecting and valuing the consumer’s moviegoing experience. Our goal is to connect upscale marketers with the sophisticated consumers who visit the theatres in our network without diminishing the moviegoing experience.

We’re serving audiences in other ways as well. We just developed CineLife, our first app in partnership with the Art House Convergence. The app is geared for film enthusiasts who are interested in art and indie films. It incorporates theatre listings, showtimes, trailers, and ticket-purchasing functionality, among other features.

Going forward in 2015, we will continue to monitor the tastes and preferences of the moviegoing public. We follow the developments in our industry closely so that we can be at the forefront of trends. Our goal is clear: Wherever specialized movie theatres attract consumers with discerning tastes, Spotlight Cinema Networks will cater to those exhibitors with a pre-show that not only delights the audience but also generates a valuable source of revenue for our partners.