Fandango Tests Selling Movie Tickets Directly via Facebook

Fandango has built a business helping moviegoers purchase tickets online and via a smartphone app. Now the ticket retailer owned by NBCUniversal is partnering with Facebook to sell tickets directly from the social network. It began this past weekend when fans were given the opportunity to buy tickets to “The Magnificent Seven,” “Kevin Hart: What Now?” and “Storks” through each film’s Facebook page. The move is part of a larger strategy to attract millennials; the company’s next step to reach a younger audience is a Snapchat interface.

“It’s not just about purchasing ease, it’s also about bringing along groups of people,” explained Fandango president Paul Yanover in The New York Times. “Hey, we’re going to see this movie. Why don’t you come along? Great. Boom. Done.”

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“Consumers, particularly young ones, find it inconvenient to hop into different silos to get something done,” noted Forrester analyst Julie Ask. “They want it all in one place. That sounds obnoxious, I know — the definition of a ‘first-world problem’ — but it’s true, and Fandango is solving it for them.”

Fandango is expanding in a number of compelling ways regarding social media. For example, users of Apple’s iPhone messaging app can now purchase tickets without the need to text a conversation.

“Anyone using Apple’s new iOS 10 operating system can tap on a Fandango applet while on the Messages page,” notes NYT. “Posters for films playing in theaters pop up. Tapping a poster brings up a display of nearby theaters and showtimes, along with purchasing options.”

Additionally, Yanover indicates that a special interface designed for Snapchat is coming soon. Users will be able to order tickets without switching apps or leaving Snapchat.

“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,” he said.

While Fandango services nearly 28,000 movie screens in the U.S. — and it grew by 81 percent last year — the company now faces competition from startup Atom Tickets.

“Incubated by Lionsgate, with additional financing from Disney and 21st Century Fox, Atom has promoted itself as a way for theaters and studios to increase group sales by making it easier for friends to plan outings,” reports NYT. “The Atom app, introduced this year, has also made discounts, particularly for less popular showtimes, part of its mission, along with concession stand preorders.”

Related:
Fandango Now Lets You Buy Movie Tickets on Facebook, Digital Trends, 9/16/16
Fandango Inks Partnership With ArcLight Cinemas, The Hollywood Reporter, 8/31/16
Hollywood Has a Huge Millennial Problem, The Atlantic, 6/8/16