from the results obtained by MEDIA Salles in 34 countries, it can be seen that at the beginning of 2011 Europe crossed the 10,000 threshold for digital screens. This means that slightly fewer than one third of the Continent’s theatres have switched to the new technology and that one of the most radical changes in the history of the cinema and of cinemas is now underway. MEDIA Salles has always kept a close watch on the process of digitalization, offering those working in the sector all the information needed to evaluate risks and opportunities. In 2004 we began offering the first pan-European training event – when the number of digital screens in the whole of the Continent amounted to just around thirty – and we continue to do so today: on 29 June the eighth edition of the course “DigiTraining Plus” will open in Helsinki, during which, this year, two sessions will be held in Tallinn. The crossing from Helsinki to the Estonian capital is not a casual choice: whilst it is true that one third of theatres have shifted to digital, it is just as true that the two thirds that have not taken this step do not wish to be excluded from the transition. Finding business models that will allow independent theatres and arthouses, as well as those operating on smaller markets, to tackle the digital revolution is one of the most demanding challenges: on our course, in Tallinn itself, this is what we shall be discussing!
EUROPE’S DIGITAL SCREENS
Over 10,000 in Europe’s movie theatres:
this is the figure for digital projectors using DLP Cinema TM or SXRD
technology, according to the estimates elaborated by MEDIA Salles from
the first results at the start of 2011.
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Focus on the Speakers
The advent of digital cinema not only meant a tremendous advance in quality for the viewer. As a communication channel, this new medium offers specific opportunities which today are used only to a limited degree. The possibilities of digital cinema as a communication medium hold plenty of opportunities for the future, and this applies to my own department – Corporate Communication – as well.
Until a few years ago, we in Corporate Communication had to make do with what we today call the ‘conventional’ communication channels: printed media, analogue audiovisual messages etc. As the digitalization trend grew apace, we all eagerly jumped onto the bandwagon of electronic media. The volume of corporate communication messages which are transmitted by electronic means nowadays has taken on remarkable proportions.
With the extension of digitalization to the film medium, and since most of our Kinepolis theatres are equipped with the appropriate technology, a world of new digital communication possibilities has opened up. Both internal and external target audiences can now be reached. Digitalization not only stands for quality, but for flexibility as well, both in terms of the subject matter of the communication and the target audiences we have in mind.
The wide range of internal communication efforts can be extended to the theatres. A message from the CEO is no longer only disseminated over the Intranet. Today we bring our CEO to the big screen where he can address all colleagues in all Kinepolis theatres in all countries in a totally different context than on the small PC screen. Other internal communications, too, or even certain training courses, can be presented in a simple and flexible manner by audiovisual means in our own cinema halls, in digital quality.
For external target audiences, cinema appears to present an ideal medium. Viewers are accustomed to seeing commercials and informative messages before the film starts. Awareness campaigns, such as those on the prevention and sorting of waste, or informative clips, for example on the use of 3D spectacles, can easily be fitted into the programming by digital means. Commercials, too, are heading for a new future. They will be easily adaptable to the kind of audience that may be expected in the cinema for a particular film shown.
Digital cinema will create new communication
channels and efforts. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that in
the future press conferences will be held digitally in several theatres
simultaneously. By broadening the product offer Kinepolis constantly attracts
new stakeholders, such as senior citizens, minority groups, sports and
music enthusiasts. The flexibility offered by digital cinema makes it
highly likely that our future communication efforts will focus far more
specifically on these different target audiences. Everyone who comes to
one of our theatres will, more than ever before, feel in touch with a
targeted communication which is released to the right audience swiftly,
cost effectively and in digital quality.