Could appealing to film and TV fans boost sales?

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Soundproofing required: screening films could be a key to success at your pub (credit: Getty/LeMusique)
Soundproofing required: screening films could be a key to success at your pub (credit: Getty/LeMusique)

Related tags Technology Licensing Finance Motion Picture Licensing Company Sky Business

Using TV and films to draw customers in at pubs has respectively increased sales and boosted footfall at 87% and 82% of pubs, according to new research.

The study by the audio-visual licensing body, the Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC), has claimed introducing film and TV into hospitality venues helps them hit business goals and prevents closures.

It also stated while Britain has lost 4,953 hospitality venues between March 2022 and March 2023 – and with rising costs and customers’ purse strings being tightened – an average of two sites closes its doors every day, 93% of businesses in its study “are certain” they have seen increases to guest satisfaction since introducing film and TV.

MPLC said responses from customers echo these conclusions. Three quarters of customers who watch film or TV in public report that doing so has a positive impact on their overall experience (75%).

Considering 63% of hospitality venues see providing excellent customer service as their key priority, according to MPLC, it appears providing TV and film entertainment could be a key component of good customer service.

Meanwhile, 70% of customers said they have specifically chosen to attend a venue because it displayed film or TV.

Ensuring this content is displayed compliantly is another key component of good customer service, as MPLC’s research found that this element was also of great importance to consumers.

Licensing issues

The research found almost one third (32%) of customers surveyed would leave an establishment if it were illegally displaying content while a further two thirds (66%) of customers stated it is important to them that any content they consume in public venues is licensed.

The results also showed that fewer than 50% of businesses have the correct licences despite over 90% believing they run compliantly. These findings highlight the urgent need for greater education to ensure businesses understand licensing requirements correctly and the value of compliance in achieving key sales and footfall goals.

MPLC CEO Rory Shedden CEO of MPLC, which represents Hollywood studios Disney, Universal, Paramount, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Dreamworks, said: “While the large number of recent closures in the hospitality industry is primarily the result of uncontrollable events this does not mean that hospitality venues cannot take control of their own destiny.

“As consumers seek better experiences from the industry, our research shows that introducing TV and film makes your venue stand out. The footfall and customer experience it provides leads to a greater number of sales and every sale truly does count in the current economic climate.

“Our research also shows consumers place significant value on legal compliance when viewing TV and film in public venues. Ensuring your venue is compliant can also enhance customer experience and maintain your customer base.”

Quality is important

Meanwhile, Sky Business said customers are looking to pubs to offer a stand-out experience when they visit and quality is where that goal becomes achievable.

Pubgoers are looking to pubs and bars to provide live sport with the best possible picture quality according to recent research by Ipsos as cited by Sky Business.

It has found 90% of sports fans expect the TVs in hospitality venues to be at least as good as the TVs they have at home.

A similar number (89%) of agreed watching live sport on TV is a better experience if it is in ultra-high definition (UHD), which Sky is focusing on with the launch of UHD-dedicated channels.

In fact, Sky Business is equipping hospitality venues with a free new UHD TV when new customers sign up to certain packages to help them draw customers in from their sofas.

Sky Business TV director of marketing Tracy Harrison said: “We know how important it is to provide the ultimate viewing experience in venue for both licensees and consumers.

“Watching together in hospitality venues has always provided an unbeatable communal experience when it comes to live sport and we want to ensure our customers are set up for success, helping to bring sports fans closer to the action than ever before with the best picture quality.

“This football season has already got off to an amazing start, and now the wider rollout of UHD gives consumers even more reason to visit the pub.”

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