Lights, camera, data! Five timely insights show how consumers are engaging with movie and entertainment content online

October 5, 2020 | 4 minute read
Jessie Cooper
Head of Platform Partnerships
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With the explosion of streaming and OTT, the entertainment industry has already been in the midst of a distribution revolution. Add the unpredictable news events of 2020 and the tectonic shift of people staying at home, we asked ourselves, how are these trends influencing the business of movies and film?

Our data science team analyzed contextual data and content trends to extract insights relevant to advertisers, and to help understand the broader impact on the entertainment industry. In total, we identified five insights that can aid in the planning and execution of campaigns. They address the following key questions:

  • How much has consumer consumption of content related to movies and entertainment changed from 2019 to 2020?

  • What types of entertainment content are people engaging with most?

  • How are certain brand safety measures affecting campaign reach?

Whether you’re a film studio promoting the next big streaming release or a snack brand hoping to be the go-to choice for family movie night, here are five movie and entertainment data insights:

Insight #1: Entertainment content has surged in engagement as more people stayed at home, but we may be reaching a fatigue inflection point.

When global quarantine measures went into effect, it is not surprising that the consumption of digital content related to movies and entertainment saw a dramatic increase. As restrictions eased across countries in Asia and the European Union in April and May, engagement dipped but still remains above its year-ago average. It’s possible those who remain homebound have reached content fatigue, but more evidence has yet to be seen.

Insight #2: With delays to new releases, film fans have been turning to their favorite franchises, led by sci-fi and superhero movie content.

By analyzing ad calls around subcategories of content, we can see what types of movies and entertainment people are currently gravitating towards. In a typical data analysis, the most popular content would involve the latest movie releases and stars appearing in those films. But without any movies currently hitting theaters, there was strong consumer interest in categories and classic films involving superheroes and sci-fi-related content. With many movie theaters closed and big blockbuster releases on pause, the blockbuster hits of the past may be helping consumers recreate those experiences at home.

Insight #3: Film content engagement rates are highest on blogs.

Understanding influential environments for content surrounding movies can greatly affect scale and engagement rates for campaigns. Our engagement rate is calculated using various Moat attention metrics such as Scroll Depth, Dwell Time, and Exposure Time. Measuring these characteristics against all different categories of content on the web, our insights revealed that blog formats see the highest engagement rate for movie-related content.

Insight #4: Online engagement with a film doesn’t always correlate to box office success.

Our analysis also examined the connection between box office success and current online engagement. Looking at the popular genre of Marvel superhero movies, we saw a strong correlation but some outliers. All five of the top box office films finished in the top nine for online mentions, including Avengers Endgame finishing first both at the box office and with online mentions, but some less successful installments also broke into the top ten, including Spider Man (#11 at box office vs. #2 in mentions), Guardians of the Galaxy (#15 box office vs. #4 in mentions), and Thor: Ragnarok (#18 box office vs. #6 in mentions).

Insight #5: Common keyword blocklist terms are often safe in a movies and entertainment context.

Brand safety is a top concern for advertisers, and many use older technologies based on blocking specific keywords such as “war” to keep their content from appearing near unsafe or inappropriate content. This analysis showed that accidental or intentional blocking of some popular terms associated with movies and entertainment can backfire by dramatically limit the placement of those ads near appropriate and desired content. For example, the term “war” is 4 times more likely to appear in a movie context than an unsafe one.

How to turn insights into action

Contextual data is a powerful tool for finding and reaching movie-loving audiences in relevant environments. Commonly associated with brand safety, context is capable of so much more than block lists. Not only does it help unveil insights and trends, like the ones above, it also helps digital marketers deliver highly relevant ad experiences and can assist in generating buzz and earned media online.

As the movies and entertainment industry continues to monitor and adjust to changing consumer behaviors, context—and the ensuing insights and trends it affords marketers—will be a key tool for understanding and adapting to these shifts.

To learn more about using contexual data to capitalize on trends, check out our complete guide.

Jessie Cooper

Head of Platform Partnerships

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