Village Roadshow scales up ticketing

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Village Roadshow scales up ticketing

Summer blockbusters sent moviegoers online in record numbers.

Village Roadshow saw its second largest box office sales on record, using the cloud to underpin ticketing when Spider-Man: No Way Home was released.

The entertainment company, which operates cinemas and theme parks such as Warner Bros Movie World, migrated to AWS and used managed service provider AC3 to scale its customer-facing services to deliver Spider-Man to cinemas.

Village Roadshow currently hosts 17 customer-facing websites on AWS, including its ticketing website, payment portal and corporate portals.

Group general manager IT of Village Roadshow Arul Arogyanathan told the AWS Summit Sydney that the company used AWS cloud to improve its ticketing website “so that it can scale for varying degrees of traffic.”

“At the same time, we've used AWS to automate our contact centres to using AI and [machine learning], which allows us to play back the automated recording session times,” Arogyanathan said.

Session times can be updated in real time, he added.

“We also provide some of the great in-venue experiences for the movie goers using AWS technologies.”

Arogyanathan said before the AWS migration, customers seeking tickets to the latest blockbuster would create a mass spike in online traffic, which ultimately led to sites crashing and left customers frustrated.

Village, AC3 and AWS reviewed the cinema operator's system architecture and website design.

Since the system change, Arogyanathan said it hasn't "had a single instance of either slowness or a site crash.”

Arogyanathan also claimed that Village Roadshow "was the only Marvel distributor who did not have any issues on [a] ticketing website”.

Arogyanathan added “it is easier for me to say we handled this very well” given high ticketing traffic predications allowing the team to “be prepared for months”.

“But ... when we talk about Spider Man, November 2021, that's when we were hit with a surprise.

“It was a pleasant surprise for few people and it was a shock for others. On 29 November when the announcement for the tickets came out - within minutes, pretty much across the globe, every ticketing website across the marketplace crashed.”

Arogyanathan said some event distributors required a queueing system to buy the ticket online.

“We watched our website within an hour scale up to 10 times," Arogyanathan said.

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