Despite the rise of over-the-top (OTT) content, cinema ad market is the fastest growing medium after internet, according to the latest WARC Global Advertising Trends report. Global cinema adspend is expected to generate $4.6 billion in advertising this year, marking a 6.8 percent increase from last year. The experiential nature of cinema and the exclusivity of box office hits ensures the threat from subscription video on demand (SVOD) services is minimal in the short term, the report notes.

WARC’s database shows that cinema ad investment has consistently outperformed other traditional media since 2014. Cinema makes up for 0.7 percent of total global adspend and the figure is expected to hold steady in 2019, making it the only medium other than internet not to lose share. This year’s forecasted growth of 6.8 percent for cinema adspend is several percentage points ahead of the 4.6 percent forecast for all media.

Even with the increase in subscriptions to online streaming services, moviegoers are showing no signs of abandoning the silver screen. About 74 percent of Americans use OTT services to watch a movie two to three times a month, and 46 percent of UK consumers said that Netflix is their top choice for movies. 

WARC’s findings revealed that US moviegoers visited the cinema an average of five times in 2018, which equates to about 263 million consumers every two months. Similarly, the UK recorded 177 million admissions—the highest ever—last year, with those ages 16-34 visiting 7.5 times in an average year. This could be the result of advertisers in Europe spending 1.5 times more on cinema per admission than in the US.

China is expected to spend $1.8 billion on cinema this year and hold a 47.3 percent share of global cinema adspend, making it the largest cinema ad market globally. The world’s second-largest cinema market, the US has a projected value of $735 million this year. 

“Cinema offers advertisers access to younger, more affluent audiences who have an affinity with the medium. This enables ads to be screened in a brand safe environment where they will be noticed, often in a location that is close to a retail outlet and, by extension, a point of purchase,” noted James McDonald, managing editor, WARC Data, and author of the research.