More Chinese moviegoers turn to web to purchase tickets

Global Business

China's appetite for movies is mushrooming and is set to outpace the North American market by 2017. China’s appetite for movies is mushrooming and is set to outpace the North American market by 2017.

China’s appetite for movies is mushrooming and is set to outpace the North American market by 2017.

Even more impressive is the country’s exponential rise in online movie ticket sales. Unlike other major markets around the world, the majority of tickets in China are sold online. So what’s the secret?

CCTV America’s May Lee has the details.

More Chinese moviegoers turn to web to purchase tickets

More Chinese moviegoers turn to web to purchase tickets

China’s appetite for movies is mushrooming and is set to outpace the North American market by 2017. Even more impressive is the country’s exponential rise in online movie ticket sales. Unlike other major markets around the world, the majority of tickets in China are sold online. So what’s the secret? CCTV America’s May Lee has the details.

China is fast becoming a movie-going culture, and tickets are selling like never before. Instead of being sold at the theater, 80 percent of all movie tickets are bought online. Compare that to just 30 percent in the U.S.

China’s online ticketing success has a lot to do with cutting edge digital platforms that encompass the entire movie-going experience.

“The Chinese market has effectively combined what is Facebook, WhatsApp and E-wallet into a singular place and created an incredibly convenient and social way to buying ticketing that’s integrated to payments so that kind of convenience doesn’t exist in any other country that we work in and certainly doesn’t exist in the U.S.,” Movio CEO and movie data researcher, William Palmer said.

WePiao is one of the largest online movie ticketing services in China. Developed by Weying Technology, WePiao offers customers discount tickets, social interaction, merchandise and even concessions.

According to Weying, last year, more than 720 million tickets were sold online, not bad for an industry that’s still in its infancy.

“If we divide by population, average person goes to the cinema once a year, which is, for perspective, in the U.S., it’s 3.8 times a year, so we still see huge room to grow,” Weying Technology VP Luke Xiang said.

And helping fuel the growth is the explosion in third party online ticket retailers, which happen to be China’s biggest internet companies Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent, one of Weying’s backers. U.S. internet players like Google and Facebook are just starting to catch on.