Cinema cost concerns mount

Seven in ten (69%) cinema-goers say that the price of tickets has become too expensive, and only a third (33%) think the cinema offers good value for money, according to a new YouGov report into TV and cinema viewing.

The majority of cinema goers are willing to pay between £5 and £10 per adult ticket. The average price for 2012 of £6.37 (for adults and children combined) still falls well within this bracket. However, average UK prices have increased by 50% since 2002 and at this rate of increase average prices will approach £10 per head over the next decade. Few cinema goers, currently, say they are prepared to pay this much.

The most price-sensitive attendees are lower-income consumers and young adults under 25. There is a risk that young adults – already relatively occasional cinema goers – may be priced out of the market (and onto the ‘everything is free’ internet) if prices continue to go up, or discounts are insufficiently enticing.

Food and drink at the cinema even worse value for money

More than eight in ten (82%) cinema-goers say that food and drink sold at the cinema is not good value for money, and only one in ten (11%) see it as good quality.

A third (30%) of cinema-goers buy sweet popcorn at the cinema, 28% buy fizzy drinks and 26% buy ice cream. However, 45% of cinema-goers bring in their own sweets, 35% bring in their own chocolate and 35% their own mineral water.

Choice, choice, choice

The YouGov research shows that, for the majority of UK film viewers, the key thing is ‘to have more choice over what, when, where and how you watch films’. Despite the durability of scheduled TV film viewing and the relatively slow take-up so far of paid-for video on demand (VoD) services, choice, control and flexibility are going to be key drivers of film-watching behaviour in the coming years.

Improving broadband speeds and the advent of improved 4G mobile technology will help to accelerate the take-up of bandwidth-heavy services such as film/video streaming. The ‘game-changer’ would be the mainstream transition of online streaming into the majority of UK living rooms, superseding the DVD market and even challenging the hegemony of TV content. This process will be helped by the growing take-up of smart, internet-connected TVs and devices such as YouView. The YouGov research suggests that the biggest take-up of online viewing, as technology improves further, will be among those aged 25-34.

Learn more about the report

Learn more about YouGov Reports