Siri displays movie times and locations, then links to the Fandango app for buying tickets.
Bill Siwicki , Editor, Mobile
Apple Inc. has a surprise for movie fans in the latest update of its iOS mobile operating system, version 6.1. When asked about movies currently in theatrical release, Siri, the voice technology personal assistant on Apple mobile devices, now will display showtimes and nearby theaters from online ticket seller Fandango.
If a consumer wants to buy tickets, Siri opens the Fandango mobile commerce app to the page with the desired theater and film. If a consumer does not have the Fandango app installed on his device, Siri will prompt him to download the app.
A moviegoer can add paperless mobile tickets to Apple’s Passbook mobile wallet, which enables ticket takers to scan a QR codedisplayed onscreen.
“Fandango is committed to innovating across all platforms and helping shape the future of moviegoing,” says Paul Yanover, president of Fandango. “With this new Siri feature, movie fans can quickly and easily discover the nearest theaters, find the most convenient showtimes, and buy tickets through Fandango to help make movie night perfect.”
It is not clear if Apple benefits financially from the relationship, for example, taking a percentage of movie ticket sales initiated through Siri. Fandango declined to comment on the nature of the relationship. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
“We have been working closely with Apple since our first iPhone-optimized m-commerce site in 2007 and our first iPhone app in 2009,” says Mark Young, vice president of mobile strategy at Fandango. “Fandango has a long history of using mobile to make the moviegoing process simpler and more convenient for moviegoers. The Fandango brand has become well established with ‘mobile moviegoing.’ And given the popularity of Apple devices, the iPhone and iPad are certainly a top priority for Fandango.”
Mobile continues to be a strong driver of traffic and ticket sales for Fandango. Fandango’s 2012 mobile ticket sales increased 171% year over year, now accounting for more than 30% of overall Fandango ticket sales, the company reports. Downloads of Fandango’s mobile apps in 2012 registered a 50% increase over the previous year, with total downloads surpassing 31 million, Fandango says. Following Apple’s launch of Passbook, downloads of Fandango’s iOS app soared, boosting Fandango to one of the top 10 free entertainment apps in the App Store, Fandango adds.