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Mobile screens have strong influence on male moviegoers, according to Groundbreaking Research from IAB and InMobi

Published on October 02, 2012
Mobile screens have strong influence on male moviegoers, according to Groundbreaking Research from IAB and InMobi

More Men Than Women Use Their Mobile Device to Screen Trailers, Pick a Film, Check Social Media Movie Reviews & Watch Pre-Trailer Advertisements

NEW YORK, NY (October 2, 2012)

 With some of the most anticipated films of the year about to hit the box office, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence and InMobi have released “Mobile and the Movies,” a study of how moviegoers interact with their mobile screens in order to better enjoy the big screen, shining a spotlight on a number of opportunities for marketers. In particular findings, point to deeper connections between mobile and movies when it comes to men:

  • Men were much more likely than women to watch trailers (40% vs. 27%) on their mobile device
  • 71 percent of male respondents used their mobile device to help them when picking a movie, in comparison to 69 percent of female respondents
  • Males were also more likely than females to check social media to see what friends think of a movie (38% vs. 33%)

  “The male demographic is coveted by movie marketers,” said Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. “This study clearly shows that mobile is a crucial pathway for movie studios to reach men, whether they are promoting the latest action flick or a serious drama.” Nearly a third of those surveyed (31%) said they’d watched a movie trailer on their mobile device in the past six months. When asked to indicate whether they ever saw ads before the trailers, 83 percent of those respondents said they had seen an ad, with 61 percent watching it all the way through so they could view the movie trailer. In line with the gender differences noted above, men are more prone to viewing these ads than women (67% vs. 58%). “It’s eye-opening to see how many people are watching ads on their mobile devices before screening trailers – in essence viewing an ad in order to get to another ad,” said Shrikant Latkar, Vice President, Global Marketing, InMobi. “Brand marketers across the board should look at this phenomenon as a major opportunity to get in front of consumers, particularly men.” In one surprising development, the survey shows that age is less of a factor when it comes to use of mobile to pick a movie. Three-quarters (75%) of respondents under 35 years old use their mobile device to help pick a movie, as compared with a similar percentage (68%) of consumers 35 or older. Cutting across age lines again, 42% of respondents under 35 check social media to help them pick a movie, with 33% of consumers 35 and older doing the same. The results also point to strong mobile dependency among film fans that go to the cinema once a month or more (31% of respondents), with one in five (20%) saying they always use their mobile device for picking a movie to attend. Mobile is less important to movie decisions for infrequent moviegoers (48% of respondents), and of course for those who do not watch movies in theaters at all (21% of respondents). The regular moviegoer audience is also tied to their handheld connected devices for other film-related activities:

  • Regular moviegoers were much more likely to buy tickets via their mobile device: 24 percent said they’d bought movie tickets that way in the past six months, as compared to only 7 percent of infrequent moviegoers
  • 19 percent have used social media to “check in” at a movie or theater in the past six months, as compared to only 7 percent of infrequent moviegoers
  • Use of virtual, on-device tickets remains in its infancy: Even among regular moviegoers, only 5 percent of respondents report having used a virtual ticket instead of a paper ticket in the past six months

Turning the topic to movie-going etiquette, the survey asked about three mobile activities at the movies -- surfing the internet, texting, and talking on the phone:

  • Mobile internet use is appropriate during pre-trailer ads according to one in five (21%) respondents. Acceptability drops off after that
  • A quarter (25%) said that it is okay to text during pre-trailer commercials, as compared to 14 percent during the trailers themselves, and 17 percent during closing credits
  • 9 percent of respondents think it is okay to talk on the phone during pre-trailer ads, and 10 percent think it is fine throughout the closing credits
  • What about during the movie? Only 3 percent said it was okay to surf the mobile internet during a movie, with 8 percent saying it is acceptable to text, and 2 percent saying it is okay to make or receive calls during a film

"Looking at mobile etiquette at the movies isn't about playing Emily Post. It actually spotlights a unique prospect for brand advertisers," said Joe Laszlo, Senior Director, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. "With one in five filmgoers finding mobile internet use acceptable during pre-trailer ads, there is a significant cross-screen marketing opportunity waiting to be tapped." “Mobile and the Movies” was released at the IAB MIXX Conference in New York City. To download the complete study, please visit www.iab.net/mobilemovies or https://www.inmobi.com/insights/consumer-research/


The IAB and InMobi conducted an on device survey among 373 US mobile data users in August and September 2012. The survey was distributed on InMobi's mobile advertising network, and data is representative of all major platforms in the US market, including Android and iOS.

About InMobi

InMobi is an innovative mobile technology company that enables the world’s leading brands, developers, and publishers to engage global consumers. InMobi builds mobile-first technology platforms that leverage advances in big-data, user behavior, and cloud-based architectures to simplify advertising. Agencies and advertisers leverage InMobi platforms to create HTML5 rich media ads and engage 578M consumers across 165 countries. Developers and premium publishers use InMobi platforms to acquire and monetize their mobile apps and their mobile websites across the globe. With offices across all five continents, InMobi provides global reach with local service and support. InMobi is venture-backed by investors including: SoftBank, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures. To learn more, please visit www.inmobi.com, follow us on Twitter @InMobi, or discover the latest mobile insights at www.inmobi.com/insights/.

About the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.iab.net.

IAB Media Contact

Laura Goldberg 347.683.1859 laura.goldberg@iab.net

InMobi Media Contact

Kathie Green Marketing Manager for North America, InMobi E: americas-media@inmobi.com Phone: (415) 379-0219