Moviefone to Monetize Phone Calls

Beginning this fall, Moviefone, a voice-based telephone movie showtime listing and ticketing service, will use Apptera’s voice and visual mobile advertising technology to manage and generate revenue from the more than 40 million calls it receives each year through its 777-FILM service. Moviefone will also feature a new and improved speech interface.

Through this new deal with Apptera, Moviefone, a division of AOL, will be able to offer callers contextually relevant multimedia promotions, such as a phone call or text message about other movie premieres or promotional codes for a movie sponsor’s product. "Someone who calls for tickets to a G-rated movie could be served an ad from a nearby restaurant offering free dessert for kids after the show, Randy Haldeman, Apptera’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

The application for Moviefone will rely on Apptera’s MobileAd Xchange, a service that provides relevant recorded advertising messages during the call. It uses speech- and location-based technologies to determine the most relevant advertising messages to play based on the context and content of the phone conversation. In the case of the movie-goer, for example, MobileAd Manager can target ads based not only on the caller's location, but also the genre, rating, and name of the movie for which information is being requested, according to a Moviefone spokesperson.

The technology can surgically drill down to find fans of specific movie genres, for example, and target other promotions within those specific genres. That was the case earlier this summer when Marvel Entertainment sought to cross-promote "The Incredible Hulk" to viewers of its other superhero action flick "Iron Man." "Iron Man" audiences who called for showtimes were given the option to receive a text message the day before the Hulk movie came out. This was a pilot program to test the effectiveness of promoting related movies to callers of movie-ticketing services.

Apptera's MobileAd Technology already generates revenue for more than 1,800 businesses in the entertainment, communications and retail industries.

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