Tribune Media Services (TMS), a leading provider of entertainment information including showtimes for 44,000 cinemas in the UK, US and Canada, has formed a partnership with Placecast that will allow mobile application developers using the Placecast MatchAPI to easily integrate TMS movie showtimes and theatre locations into their offerings. As a result, mobile users running these applications will have access to the most accurate and up-to-date movie schedule information available for near-by theaters.
This move builds on the growing interest in the Placecast MatchAPI, a free set of tools for developers to manage location data. MatchAPI is aimed at resolving the time consuming and complex problem of correcting location data so that companies can focus on improving their services and attracting marketing support. Since launching eight weeks ago, more than 350 companies have signed up to use the MatchAPI service.
TMS is prominently featured in the newly launched Placecast MatchAPI Partner Gallery, a free resource that connects companies with unique geo-content with developers building location-based applications. This underscores the emerging trend for local content owners to offer the most valid and relevant geo-data to consumers via various mobile services such as apps and text-messaging. The MatchAPI Partner Gallery is available now at http://www.placecast.net/developer/partner.php.
“TMS has the most comprehensive set of local movie showtimes content available,” says Jay Fehnel, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Tribune Media Services’ Entertainment Products division. “Placecast’s MatchAPI fully leverages our movie showtimes and solves the biggest challenges in working with location-based content today: it makes sure the listings always refer to the correct place in the real world, and makes it easy for developers to add TMS showtimes to their offerings.”
“Thanks to partners like Tribune Media Services, MatchAPI is becoming the de-facto place for geo-content providers to promote and distribute their location-based content to the entire mobile content ecosystem. The rapid adoption of our free MatchAPI service by several hundred of companies within just eight weeks of launch indicates how much of a pain point correct location data is for geo-focused businesses,” states Placecast CEO Alistair Goodman.
The Placecast Match API resolves the two biggest problems of working with large location-based data sets. First, it disambiguates addresses – identifying that all of the different ways to express the address of a location do in fact refer to the same place on the planet. Second, it maps all the relevant IDs from different content providers to that same place on the planet, so that it is always referred to correctly by any other system.
The system has already been pressure-tested for scale: the functionality has been in place for more than a year and has already processed millions of location records worldwide. With the MatchAPI, Placecast has opened these tools up for free to the ecosystem to help reduce the friction involved in monetizing location-based services. Other partners in the MatchAPI portal include WCities (database of authoritative travel and event content), Urban Mapping (provider of detailed datasets about mass transit, parking and routing), Buzzd (provider of up-to-the-minute ratings of restaurants, nightlife & venues) and Socialight (provider of local content and community apps combining user-created and branded location-based content for brands).