The Showtimes API – An International Showtimes and Ticketing API

Ben Johnson on 24 July 2014

Our cinema deep ticketing project is now complete and we’re ready to release the result! Last year we began a project to review the websites of all cinemas in the countries we regularly work in. After 3 months of intensive data collection we individually reviewed some 10,000 cinema websites across Europe, Latin America, Russia and Asia Pacific.

The point of this exercise was to understand how many of the cinemas have:
  • Websites (an online presence)
  • URLs that are constructed with good logical meta data design
  • Online booking services that:
    • We can mine ourselves
    • We’ll need to reach out to for a feed

This ‘lie of the landscape’ review has been very interesting, as we’ve seen first hand the tremendous growth in the market for online booking services globally, which is far beyond what we had expected. Even more interestingly, it’s the developing markets, such as Russia (and the rest of the Eastern Block) and India, who are leading the technology charge in fully integrating their local cinema market into mass portals offering online ticketing to users.  Perhaps surprisingly, the countries with largest traditional base of cinema going and the largest number of cinemas per head of population, e.g. Italy, Japan, France and Germany, had the poorest coverage in online ticketing and technology platforms.

Now that we have concluded our study, we’re proud to announce the release of the Showtimes API – the most comprehensive global showtimes and ticketing solution available on the market. Our API works on a two-stage process, whereby users are taken directly to the purchase stage of tickets for the film at the select cinema, or they’re taken to the film’s dedicated information page on the cinema’s website if direct ticketing links are unavailable.

At present, we can offer ticketing links to major cinema chains in the following territories: Russia, Korea, Poland, Holland, Brazil, Germany, Australia, Mexico, UK, USA, Argentina, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Ukraine, Austria, India, Taiwan, Phillipines (with France pending – we’re working on it!). If the cinema has neither online booking nor dedicated film information pages then the API delivers the cinema telephone number and its location on a map.

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