As if newspapers have not had enough bad news in recent months €" declining readership, circulation audits, classified erosion. Now comes another challenge €" this time from Hollywood. A decade ago movie advertising accounted for about 8 percent of national newspaper advertising.
This share rose 73 percent to over 14 percent in 2004 and amounted to more than a billion dollars. While this might be classified as national advertising, it is really local advertising €" enabling moviegoers to find out what movie is playing at what theatre and at what time. As they say in the movie business, this trend €œmay not have legs€. Now more than ever, moviegoers can go online to get a more comprehensive solution to their movie-going needs. The basic movie information is easily found online or over the phone. The online experience is considerably enhanced by easy access to reviews €" both edited and moviegoer generated, online ticketing, nearby eating options, parking choices and even traffic information. This is just one more example of the inevitable, albeit gradual, march toward the local online neighborhood.