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Cinemark expands mobile ticketing strategy with Android app

Movie theater chain Cinemark Holdings Inc. is extending its mobile ticketing strategy with a new mobile application for Android devices.

The new app enables movie fans to securely purchase Cinemark’s movie tickets on the go. It is also allows users to locate their nearest Cinemark theater using GPS, check Cinemark gift card balances and view their ticket purchase history.

“Smartphones are more prevalent today and many of our customers own Android phones,” said James Meredith, vice president of marketing and communications at Cinemark, Plano, TX.

“At Cinemark, we are always trying to incorporate the best methods to communicate and connect with our customers,” he said. “Our iPhone and Android apps enable us to do this.

“Our iPhone app has been well received and instrumental in helping us stay connected.  Many of our customers are on-the-go and the apps make it easier for them to buy movie tickets.”

Broad reach
Other features of the Android app include the ability to search for preferred Cinemark theater locations and to create “My Cinemark” favorite theater locations.

The app also enables users to watch movie trailers, see film ratings and browse movie synopses.

Additionally, the app features a social integration, enabling users to share show times and movie information with friends via email, text, Facebook and Twitter.

Cinemark, which operates 456 movie theaters, launched an iPhone app last year.

“Android hits a broader demographic than iOS,” said Brennan Hayden, vice president at Wireless Developer Agency, East Lansing, MI. “In addition, due to the numerous demographically targeted models, advertising to an Android user can be more accurately targeted and therefore more effective.”

Mr. Hayden is not affiliated with Cinemark. He commented based on his experience in mobile.

A crowd pleaser
Mobile ticketing is proving to be very popular with consumers and is often the first way that consumers are introduced to making purchases via their mobile device, according to a recent study from Juniper Research.

The report forecast that worldwide mobile ticketing transactions will quadruple in the next years and reach 23 billion by 2016.

The popularity of mobile tickets for movies is attracting numerous entries into the space, including movie theater chains as well as online ticketing services such as Fandango, which recently reported its best-ever first quarter results based in part on growth in mobile ticketing.

At the end of March, AMC Theatres made its first foray into mobile with a mobile ticketing application that lets users buy movie tickets while on the go (see story).

Also in March, the Regal Entertainment Group introduced an iPhone app that lets users buy movie tickets while on the go (see story).

Movie studios are also using mobile to drive ticket sales. Sony Pictures recently ran an ad campaign in Pandora to promote ticket sales for its film “The Vow,” which let users purchases tickets via Fandango (see story).

“Movie theatres have been selling screen advertising for some time now,” Mr. Hayden said.

“If they were to establish an audience on mobile, it creates the potential for an extension of that product, with the added benefit of direct response and ecommerce,” he said. “It would increase the value proposition tremendously.

“It also creates an outlet for previews, extended features, deleted scenes, and other ancillary offerings that might sweeten the pot in their business model.”