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Screenvision and Shazam Partner to Encourage Mobile Phone Usage at the Movies

screenvisionMovie theaters go through a lot of trouble to get people to turn off their phones before the movie starts. Now, thanks to a partnership between Screenvision and Shazam, they’re going to encourage people to turn them on first by bringing the TV second screen experience to the theater.

Screenvision provides on-screen, pre-movie advertising to 2,300 theaters all around the country. Shazam is a mobile app that returns information based on auditory cues. It was originally designed to answer the oft-asked question, “what’s that song.” Tap Shazam, the app listens to the music, then tells you the title and who sang it. You might also get a link to download the song from iTunes.

A couple of years ago, they branched out into TV advertising with campaigns that asked viewers to Shazam Old Navy commercials and the season premiere of Being Human. Take a look at where they are now:

shazam facts

85% of their users active the app while watching TV. 54% do it on a weekly basis. And now Screenvision is hoping a portion of those users will also activate while at the movies.

The second screen experience will offer movie goers a chance to enter sweepstakes and get more information about the products being advertised in the pre-roll. The Shazam app also makes the information extremely sharable through Facebook, Twitter or email.

John McCauley, Screenvision’s Senior Vice President, Strategic Alliances said in a press release,

“Moviegoers are drawn to the cinema to see the world’s greatest content, and their affinity for the experience of going to the movies puts them in a highly receptive mindset for advertising messages. This delivers unrivalled results, including a 56% Ad Recall and 10:1 Ad Likeability, compared to ads on TV. And now, at the very point that the awareness is created, we can connect moviegoers through a Shazam-enabled experience. This not only gives them a greater opportunity to connect with the brands and products they love, but the ability  to take that message home and share it with their friends, right from the comfort of their theater seat.”

I predict it will be a great success. You’re giving a bored and captive audience something to do while they wait for the film to start. They might not be that interested in the cereal you’re pushing, but they already have their phone in hand so why not enter the contest or play the game.

Normally, I’d object to anything that encourages people to have their cell phones on in the theater — pre movie or not — but Shazam is the perfect solution to a problem I have every time I go to the moves. Without fail, I see a film trailer that I’m excited about but by the time I get home, I’ve forgotten the name of the flick or the web URL they posted on screen. With Shazam, I could tap to capture that information in my phone, then review it later when I get home. I like it.

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