National CineMedia (NCM) puts on its show before the previews of coming attractions. Through its NCM Cinema Network, the company distributes in-theater advertising on nearly 20,000 movie screens across the US. NCM also produces and distributes FirstLook, a pre-show entertainment program and entertainment industry infomercial. It additionally provides advertising to theater lobbies on its Lobby Entertainment Network (LEN). Its NCM Fathom Events division distributes live and recorded programs to theater screens, including concerts, sporting events, and corporate meetings. Major NCM shareholders include theater operators Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, and Cinemark.
Nearly all of NCM's revenue comes from its advertising segment. In addition to FirstLook and its LEN, the company sells advertising across a 40-website network and on mobile apps Movie Night Out and CinemaSync. Entertainment programming produced and distributed through the Fathom Events segment.
NCM's advertising network incorporates both satellite and terrestrial distribution technologies, and distributes FirstLook to screens across some 1,450 theaters. The company's LEN is a network of more than 2,800 TV and high-definition plasma screens located in about 1,400 theater lobbies. The screens are placed in high-traffic areas such as near concession stands and in other waiting areas and run a 30-minute loop of advertising.
In addition, the company operates the NCM Interactive Network, which offers integrated marketing opportunities through more than 40 entertainment-related websites, online widgets, and mobile apps.
NCM is headquartered in Colorado with sales offices in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Sales & Marketing
The company sells its advertising products and event sponsorships through local and national sales teams. It uses unsold space in FirstLook, and traditional advertising, to promote its Fathom Events.
NCM's overall revenue increased 3% in 2012 based on a 6% increase in advertising revenue balanced by a 20% decrease in Fathom Events revenue as the company wound down its Fathom Business Events unit. Net income dipped a whopping 57% due to debt. Cash flow improved slightly as the company paid off some debt.
The company has been expanding its mobile apps to reach customers on their smart phones. In 2012 its Movie Night Out app had about 1.8 million downloads and CinemaSync was launched.
Physical expansion is also part of NCM's plan for growth. To that end, in 2012 it entered an agreement with Beijing China Times Media Advertising to help marketers in each country reach new audiences. The company also continued adding new customers to it US network, picking up about 170 screens in nine states.
The company was founded in 2005 when AMC and Regal merged their cinema screen advertising businesses (National Cinema Network and Regal CineMedia, respectively). Cinemark acquired its stake in the business later that year. NCM filed an IPO in 2007; proceeds primarily went to Regal, AMC, and Cinemark for payment obligations related to exhibitor services agreements.