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Atom Tickets Counters Fandango With Its Own Free-Ticket Rewards Program

There’s a new front in the battle between Atom Tickets and Fandango: Studio-backed startup Atom is launching a new loyalty-rewards program offering free tickets to frequent theatergoers, just after Fandango rolled out a similar program.

With the new Atom Rewards, registered users of the app who buy tickets to four different movies will receive a credit to their account for a free, standard-format movie ticket. There’s also a “Refer a Friend” perk: If a user’s friends buy tickets within seven days of the referral, the original member will get a free ticket in the U.S. (or a free popcorn in Canada) once they have three referrals.

Atom’s loyalty program comes a little over a month after NBCUniversal’s Fandango launched Fandango VIP+, which offers a $6 credit for every four movie tickets purchased that can be used toward tickets, digital rentals or purchases, or merchandise.

“Our focus is to enable people to connect with the movies they love, as often as they want, and in the most convenient way possible. Launching the Atom Rewards program directly supports this effort while encouraging incremental moviegoing,” said Atom COO Allison Checchi, who was previously the company’s chief marketing officer.

The fine print: Once Atom users gets the “free reward ticket” in their account, they have only 30 days to redeem it. Also, the free ticket can be used only for a standard-format movies, excluding 3D, 4DX, or IMAX showings.

Atom, in its terms and conditions for the program, says it “reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to end the ‘See 4 Movies Offer’ any time after November 30, 2018.” (Fandango’s VIP+ is currently set as a four-month promo through Aug. 31, and it may or may not be extended.) More info is available at atomtickets.com/rewards.

Launching as the summer movie season gets under way, Atom Rewards is free to join and all existing registered users automatically will be able to take advantage of the program. In addition, they’ll continue to receive loyalty program benefits from Atom’s exhibitor partners including AMC Stubs and Regal Crown Club.

Atom Tickets, founded in 2014, launched its service two years ago and now offers ticketing for 20,000-plus screens at theaters in the U.S. The company touts its paperless mobile ticketing and concessions-voucher system, and its social features for inviting a group of friends to a movie. Atom has partnerships for its ticketing platform with Amazon, IMDb, Google, Facebook and Instagram.

The company has raised $125 million from Lionsgate, Disney, 20th Century Fox Film, and Fidelity. Its advisory board includes Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Tyler Perry, Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia — and Johnson and Garcia are also investors.

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