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Industria / Mercato - Europa

Rapporto industria: Distribuzione, esercenti e streaming

REACH’M pubblica uno studio sul cinema virtuale in Europa


Il valore del mezzo risiede nell'opportunità di offrire una gamma più ampia di programmi, di fornire un servizio aggiuntivo ai clienti e di raccogliere dati e approfondimenti

REACH’M pubblica uno studio sul cinema virtuale in Europa

Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.

In 2022, virtual-cinema pioneer Picl and Medialoc, a specialist in digital technological solutions, joined forces under the name REACH'M, with support from the Creative Europe – MEDIA programme, in order to bolster the European arthouse cinema industry by expanding the reach of the new hybrid consumer through virtual cinema. In September that year, REACH'M initiated a study aimed at comprehending the strategies employed by cinemas and distributors in shaping their virtual-cinema business models.

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The first takeaways of the study were presented at the Europa Cinemas Exhibitors' Meeting in Cannes. REACH’M has now published the full report stemming from the research, which included a total of 77 cinemas and 52 distributors from 25 different European countries. The quantitative and qualitative study was conducted by Dr Walter van Andel, lector, Creative Business Models, and Drs Corien van der Linden at the University of the Arts Utrecht (HKU), and was distributed among the members of network organisations Europa Cinemas and Europa Distribution. Of the 129 respondents, 62 already offer some form of virtual cinema.

“In the past few years, there have been many developments in the field of virtual cinema,” says Noortje van de Sande, from Picl. “Fuelled by the lockdowns that made new forms of reaching audiences inevitable, as well as rapidly increasing technical capabilities, there have been many new initiatives in this field, some more successful than others. We now thought it was time to evaluate the situation, share our know-how and look forward to what’s next. The feedback and insights provided by both distributors and cinemas on their experiences with virtual cinema and their thoughts on this matter are extremely valuable.”

The study shows that European cinemas as well as distributors see opportunities in virtual cinema. The biggest added value of the medium lies in the chance to offer a broader range of programming, in providing an additional service to customers, and in gathering data and insights.

The study also concluded that knowledge on certain specific areas needs to be developed and shared – especially innovative knowledge on issues concerning the virtual-cinema business. Furthermore, the respondents voiced a clear need to gain a better understanding of the potential to utilise the data that are generated through an online viewing service, as this is not something many of them have the necessary resources to tackle. Finally, there is no single viable business model in the field; instead, each situation, each country or each region necessitates its own solution that will adhere to the particularities of each market, to the legislative reality and to the personal ambitions of the organisations involved.

“With REACH’M, we aim to tap into the need for individual approaches when it comes to different types of content and countries, by using the experience and learnings that both Picl and Medialoc have gathered over the years,” Anke van Diejen, from Picl, explains. “We have always seen the opportunities of virtual cinema as a way to expand and create a rapidly growing hybrid audience, but after COVID, the tendency was for cinemas to fully focus on bringing the audience back to their buildings again. The results of this study give us the confidence that cinemas and distributors are looking towards the long term when it comes to content strategy and hybrid audience reach.”

Fatima Djoumer, CEO of Europa Cinemas, adds: “Europa Cinemas was very pleased to cooperate with Picl to produce this study, which will provide the members of our network and film professionals more widely with an overview of the status of virtual cinema in Europe. We hope that these key learnings will benefit the development of innovative initiatives to attract those hybrid audiences back to cinemas, particularly younger ones.”

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