The use of smartphones is now ongoing and intense, especially among certain categories of the population. The addiction could becomes annoying when people are unable to disconnect even in a theater or at the movies. The urge to constantly take pictures or clips, chat or post on Facebook is what pushed American movie theater chain AMC Entertainment to introduce “text friendly” theaters. Strictly reserved to those who cannot stop texting.
AMC is in fact trying to bring back young people to the cinema by offering high-speed Wi-Fi and allowing the use of smartphones. Streaming platforms, such as Netflix and HBO Go, are keeping young people on their sofas even more. The movies will have to be reshaped sooner or later, and we now see new kinds of cinema experiences trying to make the events more exciting, such as the VR Cinema, in Amsterdam. “When you tell a 22-year-old to turn off the phone, don’t ruin the movie, they hear please cut off your left arm above the elbow” said Adam Aron, AMC’s CEO. “You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life. At the same time, though, we’re going to have to figure out a way to do it that doesn’t disturb today’s audiences”.
The solution can only be one: the introduction of reserved sections or entire rooms to young audiences. The challenge is to prevent conflicts between different generations, which have opposite consumption patterns and different thresholds of attention. These distinct categories of public have different needs and values, therefore it makes sense for them to separate the two. “We need to reshape our product in some concrete ways so that millennials go to movie theaters with the same degree of intensity as baby boomers went to movie theaters throughout their lives”.