Online Movie Tickets Pose A Problem For Product Managers
How do you purchase tickets to the movies? Your answer probably wasn’t “online.” Yes, you could go online to buy tickets if you are really interested in a movie, or it is critical that you have a ticket. Most of the time, you will get your ticket the traditional way: you wait in line and purchase it at the window. This would be a sign that your product definition is not correct if you were a product manager at a company that sells movie tickets online.
What is the problem with online movie ticket sales?
If you or I don’t automatically think, “I should purchase that movie ticket online,” then something is clearly wrong. What is the matter? In the United States, there was once a single set of product managers responsible for online movie ticket sales. They were Fandango. Online movie ticket sales have been a reality for approximately 15 years. Online movie ticket sales are only 13% of the total 1.3 billion tickets purchased in the United States last year. This is not something you can put on your resume as a product manager.
This small group is so interesting because it’s easy to buy tickets online. It’s almost like buying tickets online for concerts or other live events (think sport). These product managers will make a lot of money if they can get more people to buy their tickets online. Online tickets usually come with an additional convenience charge of US $1 to the US $1.50. It’s this additional fee that makes it difficult for me to buy movie tickets online.
Online ticket sales offer a lot of benefits. Online sales are a better way for movie studios to manage which films are shown where and when. Online ticket purchases allow the studios to identify the buyer and track how often they buy tickets. Direct marketing is now possible in a way that has never been possible for movie makers.
What can be done to fix this problem?
According to the available numbers, not enough people choose to buy tickets online at present. This is something that product managers are aware of. The simple fact that Fandango is the only player in this market has contributed to its slow growth.
This is beginning to change, which is good news for all parties. Fandango has been able to sell tickets to movies shown in theaters since 2005, thanks to exclusive agreements. Fandango is now being used by theater owners to sell tickets to their movies. Fandango doesn’t seem to be too upset by the end of their exclusive relationship. They were paying a lot of theater fees to keep that relationship. They can now keep more of the service fees that are paid for each ticket purchased, as it is ending.
The way theaters are organized changing. Theaters are increasingly offering “reserved seating.” These tickets are only available online. There is a real possibility that tickets will be sold out for a particular film when it is popular. Moviegoers can make sure they get the tickets they want by purchasing tickets online. Product managers must also realize that the product appeals to parents who already have too many responsibilities. They just have to figure out how to make it more useful.
What Does All This Mean for You?
The product managers responsible for selling movie tickets online face a severe challenge. Their service has been well-established for more than 15 years, but they only currently have 13% of movie ticket markets. Their product manager job description is going to need to change.
Fandango has held the market for online ticket sales for many years. Fandango has closed the doors to all other companies due to their exclusive deals with theater operators. This is changing. Fandango welcomes new companies to the fold. They want to make more on each sale. It serves a purpose, but it is not for everyone. Product managers simply need to make this product more popular.
These product managers have the good news that most people are used to purchasing tickets online. That’s how they fly. We don’t think this is an excellent way to buy movie tickets. They’ll convince us with a bit of luck. They will be the ones who own the market if they are able to do this.