Interview with Christian Kluge, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Smart Pricer
When did you decide to develop the Smart Pricer concept for the cinema business?
The concept of Smart Pricer came into being while Franz Blechschmidt and I were working for airlines—Lufthansa and airberlin. Our experience there taught us the potential that price optimization has to increase revenue. After promising initial talks with cinemas and soccer clubs, we decided to leave the corporate world and help other industries in growing their revenues. Over the past two years we have optimized millions of cinema seats and achieved +5 to 10 percent higher revenues for our customers.
In how many territories is Smart Pricer available?
Our software is available throughout the world. We can on-board any customer within two weeks. We currently have active customers in Germany and the U.K. We are also in talks with cinema chains in the U.S., Southeast Asia, and Australia, where the markets are dynamic and growing—much like our product.
What data factors come into play when determining a change in price at any given venue?
We consider the day of the week, time of the day, weather, current bookings, and our proprietary demand prediction to optimize the price mix of every single show. As these conditions change over time we adjust the price mix—daily or, if needed, in real time.
What benefits or advantages does dynamic pricing give exhibitors looking for that extra edge in increasing their revenue?
We believe that today’s static pricing schemes all come with limitations—time of the show, weather, holidays, number of weeks since movie release, etc. All these factors influence demand and willingness to pay. They are too complex to consider in a static price scheme and change over time. Only dynamic prices allow us to offer the right price mix for every single show.
On top of that it allows exhibitors to differentiate their product offering. Introducing early-bird tickets with some of our exhibitor customers allows moviegoers to save money if they decide fast. Dynamic seat categories at another client allows customers to self-select whether they save money by sitting close to the screen or pay a premium to get the best seats.
You have a background working in the airline industry, which has done a great job in implementing price optimizations strategies. Do you believe cinema exhibition is a similar enough industry to tap some of that same potential?
You are correct that airlines have increased revenues by up to 10 percent by optimizing prices. From our work with cinemas, we have seen that cinema exhibitors can tap the same revenue potential, though the products and price optimizations in the industries are inherently different. Even our most conservative clients have earned more than 5% higher revenue while movie fans have accepted the new pricing model. To schedule a free trial, please visit us at www.smart-pricer.com.