Moviegoers and Mobile: Better Together.

Smartphones are steadily creeping into moviegoers’ research and decision-making processes, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) report, “Mobile and the Movies,” conducted with InMobi. The study, which surveyed US mobile data users in Q3 2012, found that mobile devices played key roles for many moviegoers, from helping them research films to letting them watch movie trailers.

Men, a highly sought-after demographic for movie marketers, were slightly more likely than women to use their smartphones in several different ways to help them choose a movie. The largest gap between the genders opened up when it came to using a smartphone to watch a trailer, with 40% of men and 27% of women doing so. Smartphone use for various movie research functionalities was similar between age demographics with the exception of social media use, which was more likely to be performed by younger moviegoers.

“Regular” moviegoers, which IAB defined as those who went to see a film at least once a month, leaned more heavily on mobile devices than did infrequent moviegoers when researching films. About two-thirds of regular moviegoers used the mobile web or an app to help them decide what to see at least some of the time, compared with four in 10 infrequent film watchers.

Regular moviegoers were also significantly more likely to use their smartphones to purchase tickets, check in to a social network, or write a comment about or review a film online. Interestingly, frequent theatergoers and their infrequent counterparts were equally likely to use a virtual ticket on their phone over paper tickets, likely because this technology is still in the early stages of adoption.

A surprising percentage of all smartphone users, 61%, indicated they had even watched an ad to completion in order to view a movie trailer on their mobile device, with men significantly more likely than women to have done so.

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