Tablets guide eyes to the multiplex

Half of users find trailers on smartphones

People have been going to the movies for more than 100 years. Now the smartphone and the tablet computer are making it easier to do so.

A new study by mobile ad server Greystripe, a unit of ValueClick, indicates that consumers are using the technology to decide what films to see and when to see them. Per Greystripe, 65% of smartphone users and 67% of iPad users find out about new movies from advertising, whether on their devices or elsewhere. About half (52% of smartphone users, 44% of iPad) decide what to see based on those ads.

The mobile ads that most intrigue them (56% of smartphone users and 45% of iPad users) are trailers. Checking movie times is the entertainment activity most frequently undertaken by mobile device users (46% of smartphone users, 37% of iPad users), though the survey indicates that relatively few of them acutally buy tickets via the devices (smartphones, 15%; iPads, 13%).

The research, conducted in November 2011, surveyed 248 smartphone and 298 iPad users. Results have a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points. The survey did not ask how many users turn off their devices before the movie starts.

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