Anyone who’s spent a late night hour or three browsing movie trailers on trailers.apple.com will understand the utility of the Can’t Wait iPhone app. Co-founders Eric Florenzano and Eric Maguire tell me that the app’s closest competitor is trailers.apple.com itself — and that the only way to track the updates on that site is via its RSS feed.
Can’t Wait is a slick mobile movie trailer player built on top of YouTube’s API. It’s hardly the first app that includes movie trailers (see the movie apps like Flixster and Fandango, for example), but the app has a strong focus on interacting with other users and also on reminding you when movies you’re interested in are being released.
Cinephiles can download the app to view recent movie trailers, which includes options to sort by Just Added, Popular and Release date. After viewing a trailer, users can then choose to share it with specific friends both inside and outside Can’t Wait or with all users of the app by clicking on Gonna Pass or Can’t Wait.
Pressing the Can’t Wait button will also opt you in for notifications as to when the movie will hit theatres, when other similar trailers are posted, or when a friend recommends something. The co-founders plan on incorporating even more social features, like the ability to comment on a friend’s post about a trailer in later versions.
Of course, because movie trailers are basically the first point of conversion to theatre ticket sales, you can buy movie tickets from within the app — Can’t Wait monetizes by taking an affiliate fee from Fandango. In addition, people who click Can’t Wait and share a trailer with friends (essentially bringing in new users) have the opportunity to win a free movie ticket. The co-founders are mulling over expanding this into some sort of movie-Groupon inspired feature.
Florenzano says that eventually he hopes that Can’t Wait will help people organize their nights out with friends and that they’re planning on building out algorithmic technologies that will help people surface what trailers they’d like to see the most. He’d like to see the Can’t Wait model of consuming content to expand to video games, music and consumer electronics. An Android app is also in the works.
“People are bored, they’re sitting at the train station, at the bus stop and they’ve got their phone will them and have got time to kill,” says Florenzano. “They don’t have time to watch a whole movie or do something important, but they do have 1 to 2 minutes to watch a trailer. We’re not curing cancer, but we’re helping people have some fun.”