Digital Cinema Media (DCM), the company responsible for selling 82% of cinema ads in the UK, has reported a 12% increase in year-on-year adspend in the first half of 2019 and that it expected “huge audiences” in the second half.

It predicted that 2019 would be a “landmark year” for admissions and a “record-breaking year for advertising revenue on the big screen”, with cinema buoyed in large part because of the medium’s popularity among younger audiences.

According to DCM, cinema audiences in 2018 hit their highest level in 50 years and blockbuster releases in 2019 have maintained the momentum, attracting cinemagoers in “massive numbers”.

“Avengers: Endgame”, the biggest film of the year so far, has taken £88.6m at the UK box office and has proven most popular among cinemagoers aged 16 to 34, who accounted for nearly half of all cinema tickets sold each year.

Far from being glued to Netflix and other streaming services, the DCM results suggest that younger consumers continue to be attracted to the big screen – or at least have kept it among their preferred media choices.

Based on a study conducted with research firm Differentology, DCM claimed that 16- to 34-year-olds rate cinema advertising as the audiovisual format they feel most positive towards.

The report found that these younger consumers feel that cinema offers them “premium, trusted, quality content in a high-attention environment”.

DCM released its record half-year results at the same time as it hosted its first-ever Cinema Media Showcase, an event attended by more than 300 industry insiders at Odeon Leicester Square in London. (Odeon co-owns DCM along with Cineworld.)

Delegates were informed about a new study by Credos, the advertising think-tank, which focused on trust in advertising. While people appreciate the benefits of advertising, the report found, their trust is impacted if they are bombarded by irrelevant and intrusive ads.

“As our industry faces the risk of consumers turning off and tuning out, we as media owners have a responsibility to win their attention and trust without bombarding them,” said Karen Stacey, DCM’s CEO.

“DCM is committed to creating a ‘safe haven’ in the cinema for both cinemagoers and advertisers. I urge other media owners to take the same responsibility so we can collectively raise standards and create positive change,” she added.

How brands can engage with cinema audiences effectively was the subject of a recent WARC exclusive report.

Written by Michael Tull, DCM’s research and insight manager, it explores how blockbusters like Avengers: Endgame perform especially well for younger audiences, why brands should understand the upcoming film schedule and how contextualised ads can boost viewer engagement.

Sourced from DCM; additional content by WARC staff