Many Canadian moviegoers watch Oscars with smartphone

Almost half of Canadians who watch the Academy Awards Sunday night will do so with a smartphone in hand. A new study by International Data Corp. Canada (IDC Canada) of “frequent moviegoers” shows 47% of respondents will use their smartphones on Oscar night to express their thoughts about the show. Overall, 94% of the film […]

Almost half of Canadians who watch the Academy Awards Sunday night will do so with a smartphone in hand.

A new study by International Data Corp. Canada (IDC Canada) of “frequent moviegoers” shows 47% of respondents will use their smartphones on Oscar night to express their thoughts about the show.

Overall, 94% of the film fans surveyed said they’re planning to watch the broadcast.

Warren Shiau, director of IDC’s buyer behaviour research practice, said the findings show the Oscars are no longer a “passive, sit back and watch” experience. And for marketers, Shiau said the mobile behaviour opens up a host of marketing options for brands trying to connect with movie fans.

“If you’re using your smartphone you’re available for in-app ads, video ads, banner ads, trailers and anything else you can be targeted with when you’re interacting socially, commenting or otherwise doing something more than simply watching a TV screen,” Shiau said.

That’s good news for marketers in general, but especially for studios pushing ticket sales for nominated films. “There are more means of pushing the box office these days, especially with smartphones providing a perfect mechanism for spur-of-the-moment ticket purchases,” he said.

It’s also an opportunity for any brands that sell goods that align thematically with one of the year’s big films. “Say I just watched a happy, spirit-lifting movie set in beautiful Tuscan wine and food country, and I’m raving about it on social media,” Shia said. “Do you want to help me find out about Tuscan wines, or food connoisseur magazines, or vacations in Tuscany? I think so.”

IDC Canada’s survey also looked at how moviegoers use their phones on an ongoing basis, revealing that 81% of respondents have downloaded a movie-related app on their smartphone. It also showed consumers are searching for movie information via mobile, with 92% having checked for screening times on their phone.

Moviegoers are ready to transact on their phones, too, with more than half (58%) of respondents reporting they have paid for movie tickets on their phone.

The IDC conducted the survey of 547 smartphone users between Feb. 25 and 27 using the IDC Canada /ResearchNow smartphone panel.

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