January 2, 2013, 11:23 AM

Fandango’s mobile ticket sales soar 171% in 2012

Its apps have now been downloaded 31 million times, the company reports.

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There’s a strong case for mobile commerce in the movie ticketing industry. A consumer can quickly narrow down which films he would like to see and at which theaters. There’s only one product to purchase, a ticket, and it doesn’t need to be shipped. And in some cases today movie tickets can be delivered to smartphones as QR codes ticket-takers scan, no paper required.

Ticket seller Fandango has been at the forefront of mobile ticketing, and business is booming. Mobile ticket sales increased 171% in 2012 over 2011 and accounted for more than 30% of the company’s overall ticket sales, Fandango reports.

Fandango did not disclose exact sales figures. However, it is No. 16 in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400 with estimated 2012 mobile sales of $72 million.

Downloads of Fandango’s smartphone and tablet apps increased 50% in 2012 over 2011; the apps have been downloaded 31 million times, the company says. Fandango’s iPhone app was among the first to be integrated with Apple Inc.’s Passbook app, which debuted with the iPhone 5 in September 2012. After completing a paperless tickets purchase—available only for select theaters—in the iPhone app, a consumer can opt to send his tickets to his Passbook, where the tickets can be scanned by a theater ticket-taker.

Overall, 2012 was Fandango’s best-performing year in its 12-year history, with record highs in ticket sales and web and mobile traffic. The records include a 57% surge in annual ticket sales and 34% annual growth in monthly visitors to its online and mobile sites and apps, the company reports.  Fandango did not reveal exact sales figures. During peak months, Fandango saw 41 million unique monthly visitors, online and mobile combined, the company says. Fandango did not break out mobile traffic.

“Our 2012 successes have further established Fandango as the go-to resource for the total moviegoing experience—from discovery, decision-making and ticketing, to going to the theater and sharing with friends after the credits roll,” says Paul Yanover, president of Fandango. “In 2013, we’ll continue our momentum and deliver advertising partners, exhibitors and moviegoers even more products, services and platforms that serve their needs.”

Helping fuel Fandango’s growth in 2012 was the company’s expanded exhibitor and online portal reach. The company increased its theater network with deals that included AMC Theatres, Regency Theatres and Southern Theatres. Fandango also signed partnership deals with Yahoo Movies, AOL Moviefone and MSN Movies, becoming the movie ticketing provider for all three of the web information portals.

Fandango sells tickets to more than 20,000 screens nationwide.

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