These Are the Top Product Categories by Cinema Share of Ad Spend in the US

September 12, 2019

The global cinema advertising market is expected to grow by 6.8% year-over-year in 2019 to reach $4.6 billion. And, despite accounting for a small share (0.7%) of global ad spend, cinema is one of the only media (along with internet) expected to not lose share of global media ad spend this year, according to recent data from WARC.

With a projected value of $735 million this year, the US is the second-largest cinema advertising market in the world. Nonetheless, cinema only accounts for an average of 0.4% of US media budgets. Warc highlighted seven product categories that invest more than this average, led by Food, which devotes 1.5% of all its media spend to cinema. The Food sector is followed by Non-profit (1.0% share allocated to cinema ads), Telecoms & Utilities (0.7%), Alcoholic Drinks (0.7%), Automotive (0.6%), Transportation & Tourism (0.6%) and Financial Services (0.5%).

The relatively low investment in cinema in the US is despite previous research that shows consumers are more receptive to seeing ads in the cinema than in any other form of media. At the same time, cinema admission numbers are up, with box office revenues also rising.

Projections from PwC predict that cinema ad spending in the US will grow by about 10% by 2023.

Meanwhile, as the largest cinema advertising market, China is expected to account for almost half (47.3% share) of global cinema ad spend in 2019, or about $1.8 billion. Indeed, it may be safe to say that China is largely responsible for the growth in global cinema advertising. It has accounted for three-quarters (74.9%) of growth in global cinema ad spend over the past four years and is projected to be responsible for 87.4% of cinema ad spend growth this year.

A sample of the data can be viewed online here.

About the Data: Figures are based on WARC’s Adspend Database. Figures should be read as the share spend for each sector e.g. “food advertisers spend 1.5% of their media budgets on cinema advertising”.

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