Fandango buys MovieTickets.com to boost mobile footprint
- Fandango, the movie ticketing service with 67 million users worldwide, agreed to acquire MovieTickets.com, an online ticket seller in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Latin America, according to a press release. Financial terms of the agreement weren't disclosed.
- National Amusements, Cineplex, Landmark Theatres, Marquee Cinemas and many independent theater chains will be available on Fandango's website when the acquisition is completed this quarter. MovieTickets.com will join brands Fandango, Flixster, Ingresso and Fandango Latin America as part of a suite of movie ticketing properties, per the release.
- The agreement aims to boost Fandango's mobile ticketing system, as well as expand its footprint in Latin America and establish a presence in Canada and the U.K.
Fandango has continued to evolve as a mobile commerce platform in the past 10 years as the popularity of smartphones has reached near saturation. Not only has the company added more theater chains to its platform, but it's also integrated the latest technology into its mobile marketing mix, including artificial intelligence chatbots, voice recognition, social media and in-messaging app ticket purchasing.
Last month, Facebook Messenger updated its M digital assistant with a chat extension that shows theater times from Fandango in conversations mentioning movies. Just as conversations about movies point to services like Fandango, it's easy to imagine potential chat extensions that other brands and services might attempt to roll out.
With its specialty in handling ticket transactions, Fandango also added digital payment platforms such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, PayPal, Visa Checkout and Masterpass into its ticketing service. The Fandango app also offers PayPal split pay, making it easier for consumers to instantly split the bill for tickets with multiple friends without having to exchange cash.
Fandango, which is co-owned by Comcast's NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Entertainment, has used acquisitions to build out its content over the past few years. Last year, Fandango agreed to buy Rotten Tomatoes and Flixster from Warner Bros. Entertainment as part of the online ticketer's strategy to delve further into video on demand, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Fandango's purchase of MovieTickets.com comes as Hollywood winds down a slow summer season with few hit movies and plenty of expensive flops like "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword," "Baywatch," "Valerian" and "The Dark Tower." While some movie executives blamed the lackluster summer on an over-reliance on sequels, the consumer shift to video streaming and mobile media also is very likely a contributing factor, Variety reported.