Digital Media Drives Biggest Sales Impact with a 46 Percent Contribution to Box Office Revenue
Neustar, Inc., the leading trusted, neutral provider of unified marketing intelligence, today revealed the findings of a media effectiveness evaluation that analyzed advertising channels for 70 U.S. movies, representing a majority of wide-release box office sales. The analysis covered eight different marketing channels – TV, online, display, online video, paid Facebook advertising, out of home advertising (OOH), radio, print and paid search – representing $1.8 Billion in total marketing spend.
On average, movie studios spend $27.4 million to market their releases. The study showed that while TV remains a powerful megaphone, with 82 percent of the budget dedicated to the channel, it was only responsible for 42 percent of media-driven box office revenue. Digital media, on the other hand, was responsible for nearly half (46 percent) of media-driven box office revenue, but only 14 percent of marketing budgets. This makes digital media—with four percent more sales than TV at just a third of the cost—the most efficient medium in the studio marketing mix.
Taking a closer look at digital media, the most efficient was paid Facebook media. On average, paid Facebook media comprised four percent of the movie media budget but delivered an average of nine percent of opening box office revenue and 20 percent of marketing-driven sales. In addition, for every dollar a studio spent on Facebook, it earned close to eight dollars back or a $7.91 return on ad spend (ROAS). This means paid Facebook media was an astonishing ten times more efficient than TV ads at driving studio marketing ROAS.
Further findings showed that Facebook paid media impacted earned engagements online. For example, Facebook paid media drove six percent of film-specific Google search activity and 50 percent of viral film impressions. In other words, Facebook users who were exposed to studio ads on Facebook’s platform were also more likely to share those ads with their friends and navigated to Google to learn more about the film. Another highlight of the study found that Facebook viral impression volume (VIV) – the number of movie posts that have been liked, commented upon or shared by Facebook users’ friends – appeared to strongly impact box office performance. For example, a 25 percent increase in VIV corresponded to a six percent increase in box office revenue. Even though VIV may be one signal of future box office success, the fact that virality is unplanned – and therefore not causal – marketers should use this finding as a directional planning metric rather than a primary KPI.
In summary, while television was the biggest driver of ticket sales, it was by no measure the most efficient. Instead, this study revealed that digital outlets were significantly more efficient at driving box office revenue than any offline media – including TV. Movie marketers should consider shifting a portion of their TV dollars into digital media in order to capitalize on the significantly higher efficiency of digital media.
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