Why Buying Movie Tickets on Facebook Could Be a Game Changer
The movie industry has not had a great summer. Even blockbusters appear to be in trouble. Audiences everywhere are starting to show signs of fatigue after being spoon-fed one too many sequels, remakes and superhero movies. One could be forgiven for thinking that Hollywood might be running out of ideas. However, I do wonder if we must bear some of the culpability for the slow decline of film viewership, especially given our ravenous craving for binge-watching TV shows instead of going to movie theaters.
Sitting in creaky usually uncomfortable chairs consuming overpriced popcorn as the glare of a patron’s smartphone screen annoys us has done little to help the problem. As a result Fandango, one of the biggest online movie ticket retailers, has thought of a plan to give the industry a much-needed shot in the arm.
Fandango and Facebook recently announced a deal that would enable Facebook users to buy tickets directly through a movie’s official page outside of Fandango's site and mobile app.
Millennials have been causing quite a stir across the entertainment industry for some time. Immersed in a culture of instant gratification, they usually avoid waiting to watch shows on traditional television and instead gravitate towards on-demand content online. The very notion that content is buried in multiple silos often tops their list of first world problems.
The biggest shift in attitudes and future trends is that nobody wants to use ten different mobile apps when it can all be searchable in one place. In some ways, the Fandango deal with Facebook is a watershed moment and one that will likely set the tone for other such handshakes.
When a new movie captures your attention while scrolling down the infamous Facebook news feed, you will now be able to hit the blue button "Buy tickets". The deal aims to lure the YouTube and Netflix generation away from their mobile screens and back into cinemas.
The initiative is adding simplicity to the process of purchasing tickets directly through Facebook and effortlessly enable social millennials to invite their friends to the same screening. With 680 million users connected to a Movie Page on Facebook, it seems that Fandango could be onto something.
Industries are constantly looking for innovative ways of engaging with the always-online digital natives. Fandango has also introduced the option of buying tickets through text messages after the recent release of Apple's iOS 10.
With over 150 million active users a day the flavor of the moment is Snapchat. Fandango is also thought to be working with Snapchat for ticket purchases on its messaging app.
Refreshingly, the team at Fandango understand that the key to growth is not to haughtily expect users to come directly to their website. Consumers now have little patience when it comes to jumping through multiple hoops. A dramatic rise in customer expectation is forcing the simplification and personalization of everything.
“ This is about Fandango appearing in these environments in an organic, natural way — the way people communicate with each other now, the way they actually discover, plan and buy”Paul Yanover - President of Fandango
Although social media plays a major role in promoting movies to audiences, they have however traditionally been directed off of social platforms to third part websites or apps for ticket purchases. Groups of friends should be able to buy tickets together and choose seats near their friends without toggling between multiple apps. The integration of Fandango into social platforms is a strategy that other businesses should be watching carefully.
The tech we rely on is making us lazy there is no doubt about that. Tech allows total convenience and we demand it like we have never done before. When it comes to the digital world we now expect everything in one place and have childlike tantrums at the thought of having to put any effort into anything. Is this a first world problem? Sure it is, but businesses now need to satisfy these demands or face becoming completely irrelevant to the new consumer.
Tech-savvy audiences know how to illicitly stream almost any movie from their browser. The process of purchasing a cinema ticket is often cumbersome by comparison, so we should not be surprised that audiences are turning their back on the big screen.
There seems to be a realization that wading through hundreds of apps to solve our problems is inefficient. In many ways, it feels like we are coming full circle and while some search for all-in-one apps, others believe that the mobile browser is king.
Our preferences are continuing to evolve in this digital transformation period. It seems there are some significant changes heading our way led by consumer behavior. Should we expect a rise in all-in-one apps and platforms or will we see a return to the browser?