MovieTickets.com Adds Voice-Based Sales and Ads to Mobile Phones

Online site MovieTickets.com and mobile technology firm Apptera have teamed up to offer advertisers a new method of reaching their audience while giving users voice-based ticket purchasing.

The new mobile ticketing system works in conjunction with MovieTickets.com’s existing online and WAP-based sales systems, by giving customers the option of calling 1-877-789-MOVIE for an audio interface. The system plays two short advertising messages, one at the start of a user’s experience, and another as the transaction is processed. MovieTickets.com intends to give advertisers the option of packaged deals for all three methods for reaching its customers.

“We’ve been successful advertising on the Web and WAP, and now we can bring the phone into the mix and allow it to be part of the existing campaigns and grow the overall reach of the campaigns,” said Joel Cohen, executive vice president and general manager for MovieTickets.com. “It was a component that hadn’t been a piece of our puzzle. It lends well to the advertising side and the origination side, trying to give our users [the ability] to originate from as many different places as possible.”

MovieTickets.com, with Apptera’s assistance, plans on courting not only national advertisers like Hollywood studios offering movie previews, which have previously taken the majority of its ad sales business, but opening up more opportunities to local businesses to offer highly-targeted campaigns.

“The idea is there will be more and more ways to reach consumers while they are mobile. We have the ability to target it knowing where they are going and what they are asking about,” said Randy Haldeman, chief marketing officer for Apptera. “Once we know the location of the movie theater that they are asking about we can play a local ad from the restaurant or store nearby.”

MovieTickets.com is late in offering a voice-based purchasing system, its competitors Fandango and others have already provided. Cohen said the Apptera system is “the latest and greatest technology being utilized. There are some really cool personalization aspects to the system.”

He also said MovieTickets.com intends to offer its 98 theater chain partners the option of working with the company to replace their individual and dated audio movie time listings systems with customized links to the MovieTickets system through Apptera.

“We intend to work with a lot of our exhibitor partners, the theater chain partners, and involve them with this effort as well,” he said. “We don’t have details yet, but a lot of our exhibitor partners would look at potentially migrating their old touch-tone models and look to us to bring them in and provide them some segment of the system.”

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