In-theatre ads hit $456 million in 2006, up 15% from 2005, says the Post, citing a report by the Cinema Advertising Council. For perspective, this is about the size of Viacom’s “digital” revenue. The head of the council, Cliff Marks, who also happens to be head of sales for the public play in the sector, National Cine-Media (NCMI, see below), says that the introduction of digital projectors is helping spur adoption, as advertisers no longer have to burn ads onto film.
Some theatres have also apparently realised that showing ads after movie start-times is annoying and don’t do it (other than interminable slates of movie previews, of course, which audiences have forgotten are ads).
National Cine-Media (NCMI) is growing faster than the industry, with revenue up 47% to $84 million in Q2 ($340 million run rate). The stock has been flat since last fall’s IPO.