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CinemaCon: Fandango Unveils Global Brand Strategy for Latin America (EXCLUSIVE)

Leading moviegoer digital network consolidates in region, building exhibition presence, revealing new digital ticketing destinations

Fandango Latin America
Courtesy of Fandango

Fandango, the biggest online ticketing business in the U.S., is consolidating its presence in Latin America, unveiling a new brand identity and digital destinations as it expands its exhibition efforts in a fast-growing market.

“We’re beginning an exciting new chapter for Fandango in Latin America,” Paul Yanover, Fandango told Variety. “We’ve experienced tremendous momentum over the past year growing our exhibition footprint, increasing ticketing and building exciting new products that will better serve our customers and partners for years to come.”

As part of a new global brand strategy to be unveiled Monday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Fandango said its Brazilian subsidiary Ingresso.com would be launching a new website and mobile apps for Android and iOS next month. The new products will offer enhanced search and browser capabilities, a streamlined checkout process, and a variety of digital payment options such as PayPal, Visa Checkout and Masterpass. Ingresso.com, Brazil’s No. 1 online ticketer, was acquired by Fandango in November 2015.

Fandango Latin America (fandango.lat) – the rebranded version of Cinepapaya, which Fandango purchased in December – will also debut new digital services in the four biggest Spanish-speaking markets in Latin America: Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Peru. The services will be available in Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia as well, and will be supported by a consumer marketing campaign.

“We are seeing the same kind of growth in digital commerce that we have seen in other parts of the world, particularly in the U.S,” said Yanover. “Smartphone usage continues to grow in Latin America, as well as consumers’ confidence in online payment vehicles and the convenience they afford.”

Fandango is also looking to build its Latin American business by using experience and expertise gained Stateside. Ingresso.com will bow a new promo code service helping brands and studios connect with consumers via movie ticket rewards, promotions and loyalty programs, leveraging know-how acquired from the U.S.-based Fandango Rewards business.

Fandango Latin America will also roll out more exclusive original content for movie discovery, such as a Spanish-language version of Weekend Ticket, a digital-video-movie release guide published by Fandango in the U.S.

Ingresso.com recently introduced new technologies enabling strategic partners to integrate the company’s showtimes and ticketing directly onto their platforms, to try to promote the interests of consumers, exhibitors and distributors. One example: a social commerce program with Facebook and Universal Pictures, incorporating Ingresso.com’s ticketing for “Fifty Shades Darker.”

Yanover said Fandango planned “to collaborate around innovation in Latin America,” citing ticketing integration within not only Facebook but iOS 10, Snapchat and other social media environments.

In 2016, Fandango’s two subsidiaries in Latin America increased ticket sales by 37% across the region, year on year. Fandango Latin America has already “more than doubled” its ticketing business in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year, the company said in a statement Monday.

That growth comes in a still-building market for the theatrical movie business in Latin America and vibrant growth in broadband connections and smartphone usage.

Mexico’s total box office grew 10.5% last year in local currency terms to 5.25 billion pesos ($782 million), an all-time record, according to comScore.

Latin America’s overall 2016 box office dropped 18% in dollar terms to $2.8 billion because of the depreciation of several local currencies and the collapse of Venezuela’s market. But Brazil’s total box office surged 5% in dollar terms and 12.8% in local currency terms, according to the MPAA. Brazil has now overtaken Italy and Russia to become one of the world’s top 10 biggest box office markets.

“Although Latin America has relatively low bank card penetration compared to North America and Western Europe, it is a fast-growing smartphone market,” said Ruomeng Wang of IHS Technology. That makes for “lucrative opportunities for mobile money and online payments services.”

Latin America’s smartphone base is expected to rise from 393 million at the end of 2016 to 690 million in 2021, Wang added.

“Even with cultural and language differences, there is a remarkable commonality to movies, the way people see them, and the whole process of movie discovery and decision-making,” Yanover said. “We’re trying to localize a universal experience.”