U.K. film distribs cut advertising spend by 6%

Internet ad spending slashed by 53%


Blighty’s film distributors spent less coin on media advertising last year, according to figures released Thursday by the U.K. Film Distributors’ Assn.

Figures compiled by Nielsen Media Research show total media spend fell 5.95% to £184.7 million ($277.5 million) in 2012 with significant drops in Internet-based advertising.

Despite the fall in media spend, an increased number of film releases — 646 in 2012 as opposed to 577 in 2011 — hiked total P&A spend to around $496 million, according to FDA estimates.

Final P&A figures are not yet available but FDA CEO Mark Batey estimates it will narrowly beat last year’s record $497 million.

In 2011, distribs spent a record $12.7 million on Internet advertising, overtaking radio advertising. However, the boost was short-lived, with 2012’s Internet spend falling 53.1% to $6 million, its lowest level in five years, while radio advertising rose 3.4% to $10.1 million. TV remained the key placement for film advertising, with a total spend of $127.9 million, down 5.6% on 2011, followed by spending on outdoor advertising at $100.5 million, down 3.5%, and press at $32.1 million, off 2.7%.

August ($29.3 million) and March ($26 million) saw the biggest individual monthly media advertising spends, with 58 films released both months. More films were released in June (78) and November (67), when media spend was $21.1 million and $25.4 million, respectively.

August’s box office of $185.7 million was the second highest of the year led by Universal’s “Ted” ($38 million) and Disney’s “Brave” ($28.1 million). March’s box office of $132.4 million ranked only 9th among monthly totals.

November was the year’s biggest grossing month with $199.8 million. U.K. record breaker “Skyfall” headed business with $86.3 million on its way to becoming the first £100 million ($151 million) grosser and the year’s No. 1 release with a total $153.8 million box office. The James Bond title also topped the chart for films trending online in the U.K. in 2012, followed by Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus.”

Meanwhile, data on U.K. entertainment sales for 2012 showed total value dropping 12% to $6.3 billion. Within this, digital entertainment sales hit a record high of $1.55 billion, up 11.4% from 2011.

Film sales (incorporating DVD, Blu-ray and downloads) were down 10% to $2.42 billion. Digital sales were up 20.3% to $147.1 million, however physical sales still accounted for 93.9% of all film sector sales. This compares with digital sales accounting for 34.6% of games industry sales and 38.05% of music sales.

Games industry sales value fell below film to $2.4 billion, down 17.4% year-on-year. Digital games sales rose 7.7% to $829.8 million. Music sales were off 5.5% at $1.5 billion, of which $576 million came from digital sales, up 15.1% from 2011.

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