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Fandango voice service drives movie ticket sales, hosts ads

February 16, 2010

Fandango monetizes mobile via ticket sales and ad-support

Fandango monetizes mobile via ticket sales and ad-support

Movie-ticketing giant Fandango tapped mobile ad network Apptera to develop and operate 1-800-Fandango, an interactive voice recognition movie show time and mobile ticketing service. 

Fandango will also become part of Apptera’s MobileAd Xchange and exclusively leverage its voice and visual mobile advertising technology and sales team to monetize its calls. When the new service is launched later this year, Fandango claims that its callers will benefit from a new and improved speech-based interface and will be able to receive relevant promotions and meaningful offers based on their location, movie selections and interests.

“We will work with Fandango to provide a new consumer touch point to its large, growing audience of active entertainment enthusiasts,” said Henry Vogel, president/CEO of Apptera, San Bruno, CA. “This audience is a cross-section of America, but with Apptera’s Mobile Ad Serving technology, can also enable marketers to hyper-target their messages.

“Apptera’s technology enables advertisers to target specific demographics and psychographics on 800-Fandango based on movie choices, for example, male 18-24 callers for “Clash of the Titans,” as well as previous movie selections and behaviors,” he said.

“In addition, advertisers can target callers based on the caller’s area code, a geographic area based on theater choice, preferences based on previous responses to other messages, mobile carrier and more.”

Fandango, a unit of Comcast Interactive Media, is the largest online and mobile movie ticketing service in the United States. Fandango sells tickets to more than 16,000 screens nationwide.

Consumers can read reviews, listen to commentary, watch trailers, select a film, plan where and when to see it, and buy tickets in advance with Fandango.

On-the-go consumers can access Fandango via Web-enabled mobile devices at

Apptera is a voice and visual mobile ad network. Apptera’s MobileAd Xchange delivers voice advertisements in-call, in addition to follow-on visual mobile interactions. 

Apptera’s clients include AOL’s Moviefone,, AT&T’s 1-800-YellowPages, iCall, HeyCosmo’s Blaster social planning service, Bank of America, SaveMart supermarkets and GSI Commerce. 

For the first time with Apptera’s proprietary technology and ad-serving capabilities, Fandango and Apptera will be able to offer marketers targeted voice and visual mobile advertising services at scale.

With the addition of Fandango to Apptera’s MobileAd Xchange Entertainment Channel, marketers will be able to reach more than 60 million callers a year.

“Providing services that meet the needs of mobile users is a key part of being the No. 1 destination for movie information, showtimes and ticketing,” Mr. Vogel said. “Apptera’s technology and ad network fit within the company’s goals by delivering an interactive voice platform that’s easy for customers to access—100 percent of phones can ‘do’ voice calls, only 30 percent or so can ‘do’ mobile Web and/or apps.

“It’s easy to use, with simple voice and keypad commands, and ideal for on-the-go usage—good for spontaneous decisions or changing plans and purchasing advance tickets for popular shows,” he said. “More and more consumers are relying on mobile phones as their primary way to get information and make decisions about their entertainment.

“Mobile Web and apps are part of the solution, but the hands-free, eyes-free access enabled by the 1-800-Fandango interactive voice system is still a key offering.”

Apptera studies show that callers to these services are a loyal and active group of entertainment enthusiasts who see an average of 3.4 movies per month and buy approximately two-and-a-half tickets per movie.

As such, the companies claim that marketers will be able to reach and influence in the range of 200 million moviegoers.

Voice and visual mobile ads
Apptera’s voice and visual mobile advertising technology dynamically inserts relevant and interactive audio messages into calls based on a variety of targeting parameters such as a caller’s location, mobile carrier, interests and behavior.

Apptera’s audio ads are also the starting point for a wide range of visual engagements and mobile interactions.

Consumers can listen to audio messages and opt in to receive instantaneous or scheduled SMS text messages, mobile coupons or links to WAP sites and smartphone application downloads; MMS messages with embedded videos formatted for their devices; enhanced call services such as immediate transfers to, or callbacks from, sales agents; or subscription offers to various mobile services billed directly by their mobile carriers. 

For example, callers requesting show time information for a G-rated movie could hear a clip from another upcoming family-targeted film and opt in to see a video trailer on their mobile phone.

Or, callers who buy advance tickets for an evening showing of a romantic comedy could also hear and opt in to receive a coupon for a free drink or entrée texted to their mobile device from a restaurant located near their movie theater.

Apptera’s innovative voice and visual mobile technology helps advertisers reach their target audience and build brand awareness with the goal of delivering brand engagement and direct response conversions.  

Apptera serves 10- and 12-second interactive audio ads to consumers that can be the gateway to a wide array of mobile interactions. Examples include:

• Call-Flow Shortcuts: Callers can opt-in to go directly to showtimes for an advertised film, speeding access and providing a better user experience

• SMS messages: Callers can opt-in for more information via SMS (links to mobile web sites, coupon codes, phone numbers etc.) or future scheduled SMS alerts (e.g., tune-in reminders when an advertised television show premieres or when a new movie is released)

• Mobile coupons: Callers requesting showtimes at a theater in mid-town Manhattan can opt-in for a mobile coupon, good for money off an entree at a restaurant located near their theater.

• Mobile media: Callers hearing an ad for an upcoming release can view videos formatted for their specific mobile device, or receive a link for a smartphone application and install it immediately

• Call services: Mobile callers hear an ad for a special travel deal and can be transferred directly to customer service to purchase, or can get a call-back from an agent after the call completes.

• Mobile subscriptions and purchases: Callers can opt-in to buy ringtones or download games and have it billed via their mobile carrier
“By leveraging Apptera’s proven voice application technology, Fandango is able to provide a better overall experience for callers,” Mr. Vogel said. “In addition, Apptera’s MobileAd Xchange will help provide Fandango consumers with highly relevant and meaningful offers directly on their mobile phones.

“Along with enhancing the consumer experience, Fandango’s relationship  with Apptera will also help increase advertising profit,” he said.

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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