bookmyshowTicketing company Bookmyshow.com will offer Airtel subscribers across India access to tickets for movies, concerts, events, plays and sport events via a mobile application, Bharti Airtel’s on-deck WAP portal Airtel Live (http://live.airtelworld.com), and voice call at 54321-91, which gets redirected to the Bookmyshow call center for tele-booking. The price for telebooking isn’t mentioned in the release, but customers are going to be in for a rude shock if they’re charged standard voice portal rates (Rs. 6/min) for dialling 54321-91.

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But why does Bookmyshow need to partner with Airtel? Does the direct to consumer model not work for Mobile Ticketing? Partering with the mobile operator gives the company the opportunity to reach out to a larger customer base. Mobile ticketing has been piloted in the past – by PVR Cinemas and Fame Adlabs, but we really haven’t heard of them after their launch; I don’t think they’ve achieved any kind of scale. I had tried out the PVR application two years ago (it’s been that long.

One problem has been that PVR and Adlabs only launched the mobile app, which means only those with GPRS and those who know how to download, install and use an app use it. Frankly, apps are a dime a dozen, and perhaps there’s room for a single app that aggregates all, or no app at all so that usage shifts to the Mobile Internet.

I downloaded Bookmyshows application directly via their wap site m.bookmyshow.com, since Airtel’s Mobile Office plan doesn’t allow access to Airtel Live. I wasn’t able to access Airtel Live. I think Bookmyshow needs to get its application sorted out – I selected Delhi as my city, and while looking for concerts, I was offered tickets for the Sunburn Festival in Goa. In case of movies, the app allows users to select their seats, and sends a confirmation SMS, which needs to be shown alongwith the credit card for payment at the venue. Nevertheless, it is one of the smoother apps I’ve used.

Disclosure: Bookmyshow is a Bigtree Entertainment service. I own shares of Network18, which has investments in Bigtree Entertainment.