There’s no shortage of places to go online to search for local movie showtimes to get your cinema fix. But, arguably, when it comes to the way search results are displayed, the majority of sites and apps appear to take their UI inspiration from newspaper movie listings of yesteryear, employing a simple list view. Or so says U.K. startup MovieGlu.
Founded by brothers Derek and Steve Morgan — the former was previously a senior manager at Skype — the web-based service lets you search for movie showtimes in the U.K. and U.S., based on location and time of day. However, its raison d’être is the way subsequent results are displayed, utilising a TV guide/EPG-style view that makes it easy to scan what movies are showing at cinemas near you and, crucially, at what time.
Want to know which local movie theatres are showing “The Imitation Game” as close to 9pm tonight? MovieGlu’s timeline-based UI has you covered.
“Our competitors use a list-based format, inherited from the days of newspapers with film names and showtimes listed as text. MovieGlu is better because it displays search results in a TV-guide style format, which allows users to easily compare start and end times for every film,” co-founder and CEO Derek Morgan tells me.
Morgan counts those competitors as Fandango, IMDB, Flixster, Moviefone, and, of course Google. “While there are already websites and apps that collate cinema listings, until now, no one has gone down the visual comparison route which makes it much easier to compare start and end times of films in one place,’ he adds.
Lacking for now, however, are native mobile apps, although we’re told to expect an Android and iOS release in the “coming months”. That said, the MovieGlu site is fully responsive, so works well on both desktop and mobile web.
In terms of business model, the startup currently earns affiliate revenue if you click through to a cinema’s site and actually make a booking. “Later we plan to create a white label service which can be licensed to related businesses such as film festivals, independent cinemas, and other business sectors which have similarly structured data,” says Morgan.
For now, MovieGlu is self-funded, but — after (or if) it sees enough traction — the plan is to seek investment in the New Year.