Posted on Thursday, May 15th, 2014 by Russ Fischer
The sanctity of the theater is slowly eroding as companies make use of the fact that electronic devices offer new advertising options. Take the theatrical pre-show that has blasted at top volume at the multiplex for years now. Soon, you won’t just sit through that collection of warmed – up featurettes and TV ads. You’ll be able to use the Shazam app to get more info on each one. So that Spider-Man credits sequence thing wasn’t an isolated incident, but rather the start of a trend.
TechCrunch reports that Shazam and NCM Media Networks have partnered to further advertise the stuff that was already being hawked in those pre-show videos. NCM is the company that runs the FirstLook pre-show videos you’ve seen in multiplexes operated by Regal, AMC, and Cinemark, with about 20,000 screens showing the company’s stuff in the US.
Starting this weekend, you’ll be able to use the Shazam app on your smartphone to get more info and at times some purchase options for the stuff in the FirstLook reel. Or you’ll have to watch the people around you do it. Because why go through the rigors of trying to remember something of interest that you saw at the movies, to look up later? It’s so much easier to just do it in the moment, right?
TechCrunch says that Shazam claims “every single piece of FirstLook content, both ads and otherwise, will be Shazam-able, although the exact experience will vary from segment to segment.”
In reality, this isn’t a big deal in and of itself. But it’s the idea of encouraging more phone use in a space where most of us would like to have a lot less of it. People either pay vague attention to the pre-show reels, or ignore them altogether, so it’s not as if adding phone use to that process will hurt it or make it worse. But if this extends further into actual features, it’s going to make the movie theater experience a lot worse.