The Walt Disney Company is doing more than wishing upon a star that their new release “Toy Story 3” will have success at the box office. While the movie doesn’t open until June 18 Disney is using their Facebook presence to pre-sell tickets and create buzz for Buzz Lightyear and company.
The Walt Disney Company has created what it believes is a first-of-its-kind application allowing Facebook users to buy tickets to “Toy Story 3” without leaving the social networking site and while, at the same time, prodding their friends to come along.
The application, called Disney Tickets Together, could transform how Hollywood sells movie tickets by combining purchases with the powerful forces of social networking. When you buy a ticket through Disney’s application, for instance, it alerts your Facebook friends and prompts you to invite them to buy tickets of their own.
If this concept takes off then there are limitless applications for this including selling tickets for sporting events (when not restricted by other agreements) and any other event. Disney is trying to leverage the 1.3 million Disney Pixar “Likers” on Facebook. While this sounds really cool for Disney the next question we have to ask is whether Facebook is getting a cut of this deal? Apparently not.
Disney Tickets Together, which has been in development for months, works with ticket-buying sites like Fandango.com and covers the majority of the movie theaters in North America, Mr. Luckett (senior vice president and general manager of DigiSynd, a Disney subsidiary that manages the entertainment giant’s social networking presence. ) said. Facebook receives no percentage of the ticket sales but does, in theory, get more visitors on its site.
Facebook must feel like the lowest paid event planner on the planet. They arrange where everyone will meet and they give people the chance to do a considerable amount of business through their platform then when it comes to their cash register it sits there collecting dust and cobwebs. There has to be some deal we are unaware of because Facebook doesn’t need a theoretical increase in people visiting the site, they need revenue.
Facebook seems to be happy taking the high road of playing matchmaker for businesses and customers without getting a cut. If this catches on I think that will not last too much longer. If Facebook has learned anything in its years of existence is that the longer you let this happen for free the harder it becomes to turn off the entitlement factor.
But Disney Tickets Together represents a deepening relationship between businesses and Facebook users, according to Dan Rose, the site’s vice president for partnerships and platform marketing.
Very insightful and magnanimous for sure, but will this attitude pay the bills for Facebook moving forward?