Magazine article Screen International

UK Cinemas Must Embrace Social Media Ticketing, Say Digital Experts

Magazine article Screen International

UK Cinemas Must Embrace Social Media Ticketing, Say Digital Experts

Article excerpt

Only 0.6% of online sales are currently driven by social media, according to UKCA conference.

At the UK Cinema Association (UKCA) conference in London yesterday (March 6), digital experts said the UK film industry is failing to harness social media to help sell cinema tickets.

Despite the ubiquitous presence of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, particularly among younger generations, only 0.6% of online ticket sales in the UK are driven by those platforms.

That statistic came from Stan Ruszkowski of Webedia Movies Pro, a company which works across digital solutions for the cinema sector including digital marketing, ticketing, publishing, business intelligence and data services.

He noted that search traffic (i.e. Google and its competitors) drives 78% of online ticket sales, including through the showtimes listed directly in those search engines, which Webedia oversees in the UK.

Further online sales are driven by direct traffic (15%), which is when users visit a cinema’s website directly, referrals (5.3%), which accounts for third-party websites including IMDB, and email (0.38%).

Ruszkowski told the audience of exhibition professionals that the failing to harness social media so far was an opportunity rather than a misstep. “We think we’re in the most exciting period for movie-going,” he said. “We’re trying to ensure studios and exhibitors make the most of these huge opportunities.”

“Facebook is a huge opportunity,” he said, adding that the widespread consumption of film trailers on the platform was not being capitalised on because consumers “have to go elsewhere to buy tickets”, insisting that this was leading to a “20% drop-off”.

Ste Thompson from creative studio Powster, which works on digital marketing for film companies and is also responsible for creating the majority of bespoke websites for individual films (which include ticketing functionality) added that his company has been working hard to “enable the discovery of cinema through social platforms”.

He said that Powster has been working with Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat to design integrated ticketing functionality. …

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