Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A one-stop online movie tickets booking portal for India

Everyone wants to watch movies, but no one wants to queue up outside multiplexes for tickets. That, simply put, is why online booking of tickets has been seen as a viable e-model for cinema houses. Now, there’s a new player – http://www.bookmyshow.com/ – that has unveiled a one-stop-shop for online purchase of movie tickets across the country.
The website is promoted by BigTree Entertainment, which recently received funding from the TV18 Group. BigTree is not new to the business; over the past five years, they have been offering ticketing and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions to major multiplexes such as the PVR chain. Buoyed by the fact that BigTree Entertainment helps sell around 2 million tickets annually, it’s not surprising that they have now decided to come up with their own online ticketing facility.
Bookmyshow.com offers consumers the ability to book movie, play and concert tickets in real time, either through the site or through their call centre. It has tied up with major multiplexes such as PVR, Adlabs, Fun Cinemas, Inox, DT cinemas, Prasadz, Wave, M2K cinemas and 24Karat.
Initially, Bookmyshow.com’s booking services will be available across 27 cities from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Chandigarh and Lucknow to smaller cities such as Agra, Aurangabad, Indore, Latur and Panipat. According to Ashish Hemrajani, CEO, BigTree Entertainment, Bookmyshow will later expand to cover ticketing facilities for venues all over India. There is a strong focus on boosting the number of call centres across India; right now, only 11 cities have call centre facilities.
What about the new site posing competition to the online ticket booking systems (powered by BigTree) owned by multiplexes? Hemrajani feels there will be no clash and that his site will only augment the total number of tickets sold.
When a ticket is booked through the site, an SMS is sent or a voucher is mailed as a booking receipt. The voucher needs to be printed out and taken to the venue to get the ‘real’ tickets). To book through a call centre, a consumer needs to call on a number (39895050) and order a ticket, which will be delivered at his doorstep.
A consumer has to pay a convenience fee of Rs 10-15 per ticket, whether booked through the call centre or online. “Right now, Bookmyshow.com is not offering SMS-based booking, but will launch SMS booking and Pay by Mobile services soon,” says Hemrajani. Apart from booking the tickets, a person can choose his seats, too.
The major revenue stream is going to be the convenience fees charged for booking tickets, which is Rs 10-15 per ticket. Right now, there are no ads on the site and Hemrajani is not convinced about offering space to advertisers because he thinks it will create transactional hassles for customers.

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