CineAsia: Exhibitors Urged to Monetize Digital Investments Through Interactive Ads

Theater Box Office - H 2014
AP Images

Theater Box Office - H 2014

Video walls in the lobby and the preshow period offer a great number of revenue opportunities

Exhibitors can now monetize their digital investment using interactive, branded entertainment during the preshow period and with experiential video walls in their lobbies, panelists at CineAsia said.

Since 2009, $1 billion has been invested in upgrading theaters to digital, and theaters with digital projection systems and screens can be used for interactive, branded entertainment for audiences using their mobile phones, said TimePlay Entertainment CEO Jon Hussman.

Using TimePlay's system, Hussman says, audience members can download an app into their smart phones and turn their phones into controllers to interact with other audience members on the big screen. 

The interactive cinema opportunities come from three areas: preshow, trailers and dedicated content. "This is about influencing the outcome on the screen," said Hussman. "The applications are unlimited."

"With our technology, a thousand people can play against each other, and we can leverage the billions of dollars of IP and content that is out there by electronic arts and bring social gaming into the cinema," said Hussman.

With preshow gaming, it allows people to engage, and engagement leads to a call to action, "and that's where you can monetize your users," explained Hussman. "Our partners had added interactive advertising, selling them at 200 to 300 percent of what they were, and people perceive it as entertainment."

For the lobby environment, Christie has developed the experiential digital signage, said Denys Lavigne, senior director experience strategy and creative services.

Traditionally, the lobby is a strategic space underused by the exhibition industry. With the Christie Experiential Networks, it is especially beneficial to agencies looking for new channels to showcase their brands, to provide new experiences to connect with audiences.

Christie has also set up a global media agency that will sell interactive advertising to brands, agencies and studios to help monetize these installations.

The first installation of the Christie Experiential Networks will go live in Detroit on Dec. 18.