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Spoiler Alert: Mobile Moviegoers are the Biggest Movie Enthusiasts
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Spoiler Alert: Mobile Moviegoers are the Biggest Movie Enthusiasts

Today, with the help of their smartphones and tablets, moviegoers can stay on top of the latest movie trends in real time, purchase tickets on the go and even post their own reviews on social networks before the closing credits roll.

Overall, mobile-connected moviegoers are bigger movie enthusiasts than the average U.S. moviegoer, according to Nielsen NRG’s 2012 American Moviegoing report. They spend more, consume more content and are more actively engaged in the moviegoing process. Smartphone and tablet owners are heavier moviegoers than average, attending 9 percent and 20 percent more movies overall in the past year, respectively. In terms of size, 69% of moviegoers own a smartphone and 29% own a tablet, with 23% owning both devices.

Moviegoers that own tablets are the most active across all movie consumption (at theaters and at home). They watched almost 47 movies on average over the past year–10 more movies than moviegoers at large. Tablet-owning moviegoers also spend 35 percent more on entertainment in a one?month period than the U.S. average. They’re also 27 percent more likely than non-connected moviegoers to see a movie more than once and 24 percent more likely to buy their tickets online.

Moviegoing Style Among Mobile Device Owners

Do moviegoers who own mobile devices use this increased connectivity to make decisions about movies? In some demographics, they do. About three in 10 moviegoers say that comments about movies on social networks affect their decision to see them, with a notable increase among moviegoers aged 35 to 44 (up to 34 percent in 2012, from 25 percent in 2011). Social network discussions about movies have less impact on movie-going decisions than in the prior year among those aged 18 to 24 (down 5 percent to 41 percent). This segment, however, is more likely to text, tweet or post right after seeing a movie (51 percent, as compared to 35 percent of the general movie-going population).

“Viewing previews is the most frequently cited source of online movie information. Marketers still have the ability to substantially shape the messages that audiences are seeing and hearing about their movies,” says Kathy Benjamin, SVP, Nielsen NRG. “As mobile connectivity continues to increase, they’ll want to take advantage of the great avenue that social networks offer to connect directly with potential moviegoers.”

Methodology

A two-stage study in which online, phone, and in-person surveys were conducted during August and September 2012 among more than 3,000 Americans aged 12-74, who were nationally representative of the U.S. population of moviegoers by age, gender, and race. “Moviegoer” is defined as someone having attended at least one movie in a theater in the past 12 months.