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Digital Advertising Steals Early March on Digital Cinema

A new report finds that mass conversion to digital cinema could still start as early as 2004.

Digital cinema is the most significant technological change in cinema exhibition since the launch of sound. It is also an occasion to re-write the financial rules for how films get distributed and screened. Rather than looking at the technology and possible standards, the focus now should be on the issues of business and finance, according to a new report from Screen Digest.

The comprehensive roll-out of high-end digital projection in cinemas could begin as early as 2004 – but currently there are only approximately 160 cinema screens worldwide converted to high-end digital cinema presentation capability. This represents just one-eighth of one percent of total first-run cinema screens worldwide. In other words digital cinema exhibition is not in the early stages of a conversion process but in the pre-beginning.

More interesting than this is the market for pre-show digital advertising.

This is the true, early success story of digital projection. Already, eight different operators in five continents have digitised more than 2,750 cinema screens with low-cost networked projectors solutions. This number is set to double by year end 2003 and it is clear then that these digital pre-show projectors are having a much greater impact than the relatively small number (160) of digital cinema projectors that have been deployed.

A full scale roll-out of digital Cinema installations will be primarily driven by changing release patterns and growing opportunity costs, resulting from more international day-and-date premieres, ultra-wide releases and pressure from piracy and DVD, rather than the $1,37bn annual print cost of analogue film.

The data, forecasts and analysis contained in this press release are taken from the brand new report from Screen Digest, entitled “Digital Cinema

Business Models: Global Outlook”. For more information or to subscribe to

Screen Digest, please visit our web site:


www.screendigest.com

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