We have started this new column giving voice to the people who have already been working with added content for some time now, gaining first-hand experience in the field which we think is worth sharing internationally.
Erik Hamre, Founder of Entertainment Service, Content Distribution, Denmark
Erik Hamre can be considered a pioneer of added content for the big screen. MEDIA Salles has asked him to talk about his work to the readers of DGT online informer and help them gain a better understanding of the Danish market .
Alongside my long experience as an exhibitor (which came to an end in March this year), I began my work in the sector by founding Entertainment Service ApS twelve years ago and since then the market has continued to grow.
Denmark has 478 screens and around 165 exhibition companies. How many are clients of Entertainment Service? What is the most popular content? And the business conditions?
We work with around 80 companies, so more or less 50% of Danish exhibitors.
The content most in demand is certainly opera. André Rieu is a real bestseller: I represented his company - Piece of Magic - for ten years, up to 2019.
Rental fee is about 50%, more or less as for films. Still for our alternative content we have a minimum per capita rental fee of € 6.7 when on DCP and € 10 for satellite transmission.
After the period of crisis due to Covid, how do you see the market?
I think there are positive prospects here in Denmark: we want to play our part in contributing to development. We have published a very full catalogue for the 2020/2021 season. It includes 22 operas, 4 concerts, 3 ballets and a documentary. Together with recorded performances that make up the history of opera, produced by the Milan Scala, the Fenice in Venice or the Hamburg Staatsoper - just to quote a few - the spectators will also be able to enjoy performances staged just before lockdown, such as the "Fleetwood and Friends" concert held at the London Palladium on 25 February this year.
Amongst the four live events are the ballet "Notre Dame de Paris" performed at the Opéra Bastille and "Aida" at the Opéra de Paris.
It really is a rich programme, indeed the richest ever, proof of our confidence in the recovery of the market.
As well as offering a diversified catalogue, what do businesses like yours do to encourage the growth of added content?
Some of the producers of added content seem to have difficulties in the awareness of what kind of marketing and publicity material a cinema has to use to win an audience. Every year we have to educate both the producers and the agents to have these valuable tools ready when they offer the performances.
Do you believe in the potential of digital technologies for diversifying and enriching the offer on the big screen?
Of course; 3 years ago we started developing a theatrical game for the audience where they use their smartphones/tablets as a gameboard and there is a quiz master and all the figures roll onto the big screen. Between the games we have screen entertainment and this is meant to be an offer for both weekdays and weekend mornings or matinees.
The project is called BIO BANKO and was created with The Technical University of Denmark and the biggest ticket company. Both game and entertainment content are transferred via the internet, and when the cinemas have joined and agreed to the terms, all they have to do is to decide the number of games throughout the season and then go into the ticket system and make the reservations themselves. We deliver the games automatically and they can choose between 6 - 10 games per show. The people who buy the tickets decide if they want 6 or 10 gameboards.
I started working in the cinema as an exhibitor and I continue to think that films are the heart and soul of the cinema-going experience but, at the same time, I think the big screen can offer far more.
To see the full offer for the 2020/21 season, click here