December 22, 2010, 1:21 PM

Fandango brings movie tickets to a new mobile screen

The movie ticket retailer is now featuring a commerce-enabled iPad app.

Lead Photo

Jessica Yi, the movie ticket retailer's head of product.

Fandango has come a long way in mobile from the WAP site it launched in 2005. It now has rich shopping apps, bar code scanning and mobile advertising. And today it added another mobile offering to its line-up—an iPad app.

Fandango, a unit of Comcast Interactive Media, developed the app in-house, as it has all its mobile initiatives. Highlights of the app include a feature called The Pulse that shows the top-selling events and movie tickets purchased through Fandango, movie reviews from professional critics and film fans, and movie-related tweets.

The app also includes mapping technology that detects a user’s location and offers her nearby event and movie titles, theaters and showtimes as well as enabling her to purchase tickets. That feature helps consumers away from home find movies playing in the area—even if they don’t know their current ZIP code.

For iPad users looking to explore a show before they make a commitment, the app offers video, photos, trailers, clips and interviews with the actors and directors that take advantage of the large, high-resolution, high-definition display on the iPad.

"It was important for us to create an app that was tailor-made for iPad,” says Jessica Yi, head of product for Fandango. "We think film fans will enjoy browsing from their couch or the local coffee house for showtimes, fan reviews, exclusive clips, trailers and tickets

Fandango, which sells tickets to more than 16,000 screens, first went mobile in order to be available to customers anytime, anywhere. It’s since launched apps for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm, Google Inc.’s Android and Windows 7.

In addition to its mobile ticket-selling strategies, Fandango has rolled out two-dimensional bar code ticketing at about 100 theatres that enables mobile shoppers to present a bar code on their phones to be scanned as a ticket. Theaters that use the bar codes, however, must pay for special scanners, install them and train employees, Yi said in a presentation earlier this year. Yi added Fandango has other ideas for using bar codes such as placing two-dimensional QR codes on posters that shoppers can scan for Fandango promotions and discounts.

Fandango is also adding mobile ads to its apps in an effort to generate revenue from customers who use apps only to do things like view trailers and look up showtimes and then buy tickets elsewhere, Yi said. Other future mobile initiatives include offering reserved seating, adding mobile wallets such as PayPal and integrating with theater concession stands, for example, by offering free popcorn with a ticket purchase.

Fandango says its apps have been downloaded more than 10 million times. The apps are also preloaded on many devices. Apple’s mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPod Touch rank first for downloads, but Android downloads are growing, Fandango says

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