Cinema ticketing on mobile – comment from Thales e-Security

Sandra Vogel
Written by Sandra Vogel

Our focus on cinema ticketing and mobile generated a range of responses. This is what John Grimm, Senior Director at Thales e-Security told us.

MobileIndustry: What are the barriers to serious uptake of cinema ticketing on mobiles? 

John Grimm: The key barrier is realising that there are no more barriers. From a technology point of view, and more specifically a security point of view, we’ve seen other industries like transportation embrace the use of digital signing technology, which uses cryptographic techniques to increase security and establish trust for electronic ticketing for high value tickets like those for airlines.

MobileIndustry: Do you think there are any serious consequences – including effects on revenue – for the cinema industry if they fail to embrace mobile ticketing in the next 2 or 3 years?

John Grimm: It is not for nothing that everyone wants a piece of the mobile pie – on-demand, convenient, and safely tucked into the pockets of almost every customer, this device is fast becoming the must-have channel for service delivery. From airlines to the entertainment industry, businesses are exploring how they can take advantage of the speed, convenience and cost-savings that e-ticket delivery can bring.

The cinema industry cannot hide from customer expectation – convenient delivery of secure e-tickets will be crucial for cinema chains to keep pace and stay connected with customers in a digital age, and to open up new methods of engagement.

MobileIndustry: Are there parallels in other industries – especially other entertainment industries – that cinema could learn from?

John Grimm: The commercial cinema industry does not need to look too far to see pioneering innovation in the security realm. The home cinema industry has embraced this technology very effectively – PRIMA Cinema recently became the first company in the history of cinema to be granted rights to distribute first-run movies directly to viewers in their home. To convince Hollywood studios that this digital content is safe from piracy, and strictly limited to authorised users, they have implemented a security system that relies on encryption, digital watermarking, and digital signatures, applied within the confines of purpose-built, high-security hardware.

MobileIndustry: What three steps do cinema chains need to take right now to encourage more use of mobile online devices for ticket purchases, ticket holding, cinema entry etc?

John Grimm: Once a trusted infrastructure for issuing e-tickets is in place, current consumer behaviour suggests that it won’t require a great deal of marketing to encourage users to adopt this method. E-tickets – which are available on mobile devices – are widespread in many other areas that we are familiar with, including plane tickets, so this method of delivery is much closer to being an ‘expectation’ rather than a ‘luxury’.


photo credit: El Productor: La verdad sobre un rol distorsionado via photopin (license)

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Sandra Vogel

Sandra Vogel