Earlier this year, as Avengers: Infinity War was putting audiences on the edges of their seats all across the USA, a small start-up called Moviebill was working with the Regal Cinemas chain to bring an augmented reality (AR) enhanced magazine to cinema attendees, which provided a range of behind-the-scenes videos, interviews, games and other magazine content by utilising smartphone cameras. Since then, several more issues of the magazine have appeared, along with AR content. Now the company is revealing some of the details behind its operation.
Moviebill is a 28-page magazine which is available to customers at the Regal Cinemas theatre chain. The magazine is sponsored by advertising, and also features AR promotions which allow it to be handed out for free to theatre goers. The AR content is accessible by using the Regal Cinemas mobile app.
“Avengers fans waited a long time to see the new movie, and many of them bought their tickets at least one month in advance,” says Matthew Shreder, Publisher and Co-founder of Moviebill. “They got off their couches and drove several miles to their local movie theater. Committed, engaged fans like this are extremely valuable to our industry, and with Moviebill, we saw an opportunity to drive deeper engagement with them. Even today, four months after the release of Avengers, consumers are still scanning pages from the Avengers Moviebill and pulling content seamlessly from the cloud.”
Moviebill’s AR content is powered by Google Cloud Platform, which Shreder and the Moviebill staff found ideal for their needs: “With Google Cloud Platform, we’ve served our AR content to massive numbers of users without any outages or performance slowdowns,” says Shreder.
The company quickly discovered that the AR content promoted engagement in a way not possible with standard print media, as it discovered by analysing data using BigQuery: “This is the kind of valuable analytics we’re getting from BigQuery, and it helps us tell a compelling story to advertisers.”