NEW YORK/LAS VEGAS: Cinema advertising revenues grew more than 13% in 2015, topping $700m for the first time, and the head of the Cinema Advertising Council (CAC) says the medium merits greater consideration in the media mix.

The trade body reported that total spending of $716.4m had "cemented its leadership position in the premium video category".

It added that agencies increasingly understood the value of cinema in reaching consumers, thanks to the high viewability of cinema ads and the ability to target specific demographic audiences.

Further, while other major media categories have experienced audience declines, CAC highlighted the consistency of the movie-going audience, which it noted had purchased 1.25bn or more tickets every year for the past 22 years.

"Nearly every weekend at the movies features event programming," observed Katy Loria, CAC President and Chairman. "This constant stream of tent-pole titles attracts ratings that would be exciting for any video network on any sized screen, let alone the biggest and most dynamic screen in all of media."

And, importantly for advertisers, it "delivers Millennial audiences whose consumption habits compared with past generations are different and elusive ... except for the movies".

"We are strongly positioned to see cinema become an even more essential part of media plans, with a seat at the table alongside other premium video media companies as upfront negotiations heat up," she added.

CAC members are now operating an upfront sales strategy that includes presentations alongside leading broadcast, cable and digital networks, while also developing new data and technology initiatives that connect brands with consumers before, during and after the movie experience.

The approach is evidently working as a total of 215 new national or regional brands advertised in cinema in 2015, up from 121 new brands in 2014 and 93 new brands in 2013.

National and regional sales grew more than twice as fast as local sales and now make up 77% of all cinema ad revenue.

In terms of specific categories, Auto was the largest cinema spender in 2015, followed by Banking/Finance/Insurance, Consumer Electronics, Government/Education and Media.

Data sourced from CAA; additional content by Warc staff