NCM Launches Programmatic Offering w/ @PlaceExchange

Russ Curry, Ministry of New Media

National CineMedia (NCM), America’s largest movie network has announced the launch of a new Place Exchange programmatic offering with NCM’s Lobby Entertainment Network.

We are told that this new partnership will now enable advertisers to purchase the largest network of lobby screens in movie theaters across the country programmatically for the first time.

With over 600 million moviegoers reached annually through the NCM network of over 1,600 theaters with over 20,600 screens through the US, this is the largest programmatic move in the cinema advertising space to date. The Place Exchange partnership with NCM enables advertisers to reach these consumers via strategically located in-lobby video placements before and after their movie experience.

Mike Rosen, Chief Revenue Officer of NCM told us “NCM’s expansion into programmatic marketplaces is a key enhancement of our efforts to help advertisers reach the ‘unreachables’ – our highly valuable, young, diverse cinema audience. Allowing our key client and agency partners access to our lobby assets through programmatic channels brings the efficiency of automation, along with the power of data, to unlock even more value from our inventory. Today’s announcement to launch our Lobby Entertainment Network programmatically is the first step in our efforts to ultimately extend this offering to our big screen inventory in 2023.”

As the pandemic recovery continues, moviegoers have been flocking back to the theaters, frequenting in numbers that exceed the highest-rated TV programming. The new programmatic offering adds another avenue for marketers targeting Gen Z and Young Millennial consumers to leverage NCM’s reach and scale with media buys.

Dave Etherington, Chief Commercial Officer of Place Exchange said “We are incredibly excited to be partnering with NCM to bring access to this highly coveted hard-to-reach audience to our programmatic buying partners. This represents a true milestone in giving marketers the power to capture consumer attention during the moviegoing experience, leveraging all of the targeting, automation, flexibility, and measurability of programmatic execution.”

Nearly one out of every two adults who visited a movie theater in the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 were 18-34-year-olds, and 79% of moviegoers attending an NCM theater are under the age of 39.

These consumers are spending more money on and around the cinema experience, with research showing an elevated level of spending compared to typical spending patterns, on the day of theater visits. A detailed analysis released by Ernst & Young on the broader economic impact of movie theaters analyzed pre-pandemic data and found that total movie-night spending increased to five billion dollars through dining and retail activities on the day of theater visits.

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