Trailer Fatigue: Moviegoers Less Thrilled With In-Theater Previews

At the same time, viewing of trailers on mobile devices and usage of movie-info apps are on the rise, Nielsen NRG says

American movie auds are substantially less likely to watch trailers in theaters than they were two years ago, while trailer viewing online and on mobile devices has jumped over the same time period, a Nielsen National Research Group study found.

In 2012, 64% of moviegoers were inclined to watch in-theater movie previews, down from 66% in 2011 and 74% in 2010, according to Nielsen NRG’s 2012 American Moviegoing report. Theater owners have complained that trailers are too long and cause audiences to tune out: Last month the National Assn. of Theatre Owners proposed to studios cutting the length of movie trailers from 2 1/2 to 2 minutes.

At the same time, 53% of moviegoers watched trailers online via computer in 2012, up from 47% in 2010, and trailer viewing via mobile phones more than doubled to 15%, up from 6% in 2010.

Consumers also continue to show more interest in using mobile apps to get info on movies. As of April 2013, the number of unique users increased substantially year over year for Amazon’s IMDb Movies and TV app (up 46% to 12.8 million users), Time Warner’s Movies by Flixster app (up 17% to 8.2 million) and Comcast’s Fandango Movies app (up 26% to 5.4 million).

Trailers remain Hollywood’s core marketing vehicle. In the first quarter of 2013, studios spent more than $700 million in advertising across all media, Nielsen estimated.

Nielsen released the movie-trailer research Thursday. The NRG 2012 American Moviegoing report is based on a survey of 3,000 U.S. consumers last fall who had seen at least one movie in a theater in the previous 12 months.

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