- Atom Tickets, the social movie ticketing platform backed by film studios, introduced a voice-powered app for Amazon's Alexa digital assistant. The Atom skill lets moviegoers hear about nearby movies and buy tickets using Amazon Pay, according to an announcement.
- After saying "Alexa, ask Atom for movie tickets" or "Alexa, ask Atom what's playing near me," the skill helps to find movies in formats including Imax, 3D or Dolby sound. Amazon accountholders can use their stored payment information to complete the transaction without having to recite credit or debit card numbers.
- Theaters with reserved seating can offer moviegoers tickets for specific seats. Atom sends the tickets directly to the buyer in an email that can be stored on a smartphone and scanned at the theater.
Atom Tickets, which is backed by Lionsgate, Disney, Twentieth Century Fox Film and Fidelity Management, is expanding its reach by integrating with voice platforms like Alexa. Movie ticketing has become more popular on mobile devices, but it's too early to tell whether voice platforms have become a significant source of ticket sales. Online movie ticket retailer Fandango last week said 80% of its inventory was sold on mobile devices this year, up from 72% in 2017, Deadline Hollywood reported. Fandango has offered movie information and ticketing on Alexa since 2016, according to the company.
Each skill that Amazon can add to Alexa makes its voice-powered platform for valuable to consumers. The number of apps in the Alexa skill store ballooned to more than 50,000 by September from 40,000 in early May. Amazon also is urging more gadget makers to use its software tools to connect Bluetooth devices like smart watches and headphones with Alexa. The Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit helps software developers working for a brand or agency create Alexa skills that work on a broader range of wireless devices.
The renewed push to make Alexa more useful helped Amazon regain the lead in smart-speaker market share in Q3 2018 after lagging behind archrival Google during the prior six months, according to a report from researcher Canalys. Amazon shipped 6.3 million Alexa-powered Echo smart speakers in Q3, while Google sold 5.9 million of its Google Home devices that use its Google Assistant.
Atom also has worked with Facebook and Google to let their users make seamless purchase transactions with their platforms. The ticketing platform last month strengthened its ties with Disney by letting customers link their Disney Movie Rewards membership with Atom Rewards. The arrangement means that Atom Rewards members can automatically earn points for eligible Disney ticket purchases. Similarly, Google Pay started selling movie tickets in the United Kingdom as part of a collaboration with theater operator Vue Entertainment and customer engagement company Urban Airship.