RealTime IT News

Amazon Goes to the Movies

In a move that provides some revenue stream diversification, e-tailing giant Amazon.com has launched an ad-backed, free-to-the-consumer service that provides moviegoers with recommendations, theater showtimes and candid ratings by ordinary viewers.

Amazon said it will work with major movie studios to help promote new films from the get-go. Cross-selling opportunities include movie-related books and music CDs.

The new tab was created in collaboration with IMDb.com, a database of information on movies. Amazon will offer personalized recommendations of specific films based on a customer's past purchase history in the same way it has been recommending specific books, CDs, and videos to its customers over the years.

Amazon said the new service, called simply "In Theaters," will feature personalized movie theater showtimes based on the consumer's ZIP code.

Consumers can also get movie showtimes e-mailed to them once a week.

Amazon is currently partnering with Touchstone Pictures to promote Pearl Harbor. And the company reportedly signed a promotion deal with Buena Vista Pictures Marketing, although financial specifics were not disclosed.

"In Theaters" will be listed as a tab, along with "books," "music" and "videos" on the Amazon home page.

"Amazon.com's new In Theaters service opens up a highly targeted and efficient new online marketing channel for theatrical releases," said Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com. "We're using our advanced technology to help people pick the perfect movie for them."