|'OnMovies' will be distributed to ticket-buyers at Loews Cineplex Theaters in cities across the country. Click to see full cover.
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OnMovies, which will display The Times logo and be divided evenly between advertising and editorial content from The Times, will be distributed to up to 1.25 million ticket-buyers at Loews Cineplex Theaters 18 times a year in cities including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Washington.
Fight for revenue
The new product follows a strategy by The Times to fight for ad revenue partly by extending its print reach, as it did earlier this year when it introduced a free weekly handout of classified ads with some editorial content.
“What’s exciting for us is that it is reaching new audiences, new segments of the audience that potentially the core product doesn’t get to all the time,” said Denise Warren, senior VP-chief advertising officer at The New York Times Media Group. “We think it gets people inside our content in a very different way, to reach new readers and to reach new advertisers.”
Movie ad revenue down
It has been a rocky year to say the least for Hollywood’s new releases, which, combined with proliferating ad venues, has chipped away from movie ad revenue at The Times. The paper collected $107.5 million in new-release advertising from January through June of this year, down 5.7% from the same period last year, according to estimates by TNS Media Intelligence.
Beth Fidoten, senior VP-director of print services at Initiative, said the OnMovies effort would help extend The Times’ reach and potentially capture additional revenue. “It’s a great way to get out The Times message to a slightly different audience,” she said.
If it works, OnMovies could prove to be a harbinger of handouts to come from other major daily newspapers.
Many papers are struggling to recruit younger consumers, the same target that Hollywood strives to sell movie tickets to, said George Sancoucy, senior VP-director of print and media services at Magna Global Trading.
“I come in with a newspaper and a cup of coffee,” he said. “I pass by the younger folks and they have a Diet Coke and that’s it. Those are media consumption habits that all traditional media should be alert to, to try to invigorate their properties and offerings to continue to be part of the media consumption.”
The Times is paying Loews to distribute OnMovies but Ms. Warren declined to disclose terms of the deal.