With the recent release of the action movie “Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon,” MovieTickets.com Inc. sold 17.4% of its tickets to the movie to consumers who purchased using mobile devices, up from an average of 10%, CEO Joel Cohen says. “That ‘Transformers’ statistic is critical, it’s a big number for us,” he says.
Cohen admits the Transformers movie, which was the third in a series, was the kind of flick that could be expected to pull in an audience of young consumers accustomed to using mobile devices for purchases. “The audience demographics and the type of movie really lent itself to mobile,” he says.
Still, sci-fi, geek-appealing movie or not, he figures the sharp increase in mobile ticketing for “Transformers” was a significant indication of where movie ticket-buying is heading. And that trend supports MovieTickets.com’s ongoing drive into mobile, Cohen says.
Last fall, MovieTickets worked with Pogo Corp. to launch a mobile app for the iPhone and iPod Touch and released an app for BlackBerry phones, and in April 2011 it launched with Pogo an app for the Android mobile operating system. Pogo replaced an earlier mobile developer the retailer had worked with.
And with its in-house team of technology developers, the e-retailer upgraded its mobile-optimized site at Mobile.MovieTickets.com, which also answers to m.MovieTickets.com.
MovieTickets plans to continue growing in other areas as well. It already offers web site ticketing in 19 countries or territories, and within the next year expects to be in many more. “Our presence from a web and mobile perspective will soon start to grow more internationally,” Cohen says. “We’re working on opportunities to expand our global reach, and within the next 12 months we could be in a total of 30 countries.” For now, its mobile apps are only available in the United States, but the retailer is planning to offer mobile apps to consumers in Canada and the United Kingdom, Cohen adds.
The e-retailer’s international presence will focus mostly on North America, Latin America, Europe and India.
It’s also planning to build a business in providing private-label mobile apps for online ticketing to theater companies. Working with Pogo, it will offer theater companies what Cohen describes as a turnkey system that includes fully featured mobile apps and back-end integration with the computer networks of theater companies to support mobile ticket purchases.
“Any theater would have the opportunity to have MovieTickets.com provide them with the same mobile advantages as our other clients, with apps fully supported by MovieTickets.com and Pogo,” Cohen says. “The functionality will be the same.”