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IMDb pivots app to grab piece of mcommerce, tickets

July 18, 2013

The new IMDb app

With mobile ticket sales on the fast track, Amazon’s IMDb has updated its mobile application with ticketing and commerce to give consumers a way to instantly buy movie tickets and goods.

IMDb’s new feature is rolling out across the company’s iOS and Android app. In addition to new ticketing features, the app has also been updated to sync with Amazon’s commerce-enabled app to let consumers shop for products in one click.

“Adding a ticketing element makes perfect sense,” said Matt Garrity, director of business development at Canvas, New York.

“IMDb is a comprehensive information and content provider at its core, yet the mobile user may be more likely to be researching current listings rather than the broader historical data,” he said.

“It’s a natural progression that is likely to drive more consumer usage.”

Mr. Garrity is not affiliated with IMDb. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

IMDb declined to comment for this story.

How it works
Mobile ticketing within the IMDb app is only rolling out in the United States.

The feature lets consumers browse through movies that are currently playing in theaters. Each movie displays a picture of the film and copy that encourages consumers to find showtimes and buy tickets.

When consumers click-through, they are directed to a landing page where they can change the date and location and can view all of the upcoming locations where a movie is playing.

From there, consumers are directed to a landing page that is powered by Fandango where they can choose the number of tickets and checkout.

Adding a ticketing element to its app positions the IMDb app as more of an all-in-one app and will likely drive consumers to use the app more frequently since it takes users through every step of the purchase decision.

Movie tickets have seen a huge growth with mobile, and IMDb is smart to capitalize on the trend.

In fact, 30 percent of Fandango’s revenue came from mobile in 2012 (see story).

IMDb has been carving out ways to make its mobile app more personalized, which is indicated in this newest release.

Last year, IMDb hit 40 million app downloads across its iPhone and Android devices (see story).

Movie listings within the IMDb iPhone app

Mobile shopping
The second major update to the app is a feature that links the IMDb and Amazon app together.

Links on the bottom of movie pages drive consumers to Amazon’s app to search for products related to the film.

A click-through from IMDb’s iPhone app to find movie merchandise in the Amazon app

Consumers who have already downloaded the Amazon app are automatically redirected to a page of filtered search results within Amazon’s app when they click the link.

For consumers that do not have the app downloaded, there is a call-to-action that prompts them to download it from the appropriate app store.

Adding this feature not only opens up a new revenue stream for Amazon, but is also aimed at creating a more tailored shopping experience for consumers that are looking for specific products.

“Movie merchandising is obviously a big money-maker, and Amazon is positioned as a primary ecommerce outlet,” Mr. Garrity said.

“This integration simply puts consumers that much closer to the store,” he said. “With that in mind, it’s also important to subtly apply the commerce element and not overwhelm the IMDb mobile user experience.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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