In a first for Vista Group International (VGL), its companies Vista Entertainment Solutions (VES) and Movio have won a joint proposal to provide their cinema industry-leading software to Ster-Kinekor Theatres, the largest cinema exhibitor on the African continent.
Ster-Kinekor Theatres is a wholly-owned business of the Primedia Group. To most South Africans, the word ‘movies’ is synonymous with the name ‘Ster-Kinekor’. The company is the pre-eminent name in cinema across the African continent operating 57 commercial cinema complexes in South Africa, six international sites based in Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe and 3 additional sites in development.
The cinema chain’s sites house more than 480 large-scale screens and boast South Africa’s largest 3D footprint. It has pioneered cinema concepts such as Cinema Nouveau, one of the world’s largest dedicated art-house multiplex circuits, and the luxurious Cine Prestige theatres, the first ‘business class’ cinema experience in South Africa. It has also spearheaded the return of The IMAX® Experience to the country, with the opening of seven IMAX® Theatres across the country since 2013.
Preferred partner to hundreds of exhibitors worldwide including 17 of the world’s top 30 chains, VES is the leading global supplier of cinema management software to the cinema industry’s Large Circuit Market (LCM: cinema exhibitors operating more than 20 screens); VES software is installed at more than 4,000 sites in over 70 countries. With Ster-Kinekor’s 66 (licensed) sites and 480 screens across the four African countries, VES market share in Africa and the Middle East increases to an estimated 60% (LCM). Ster-Kinekor will utilize VES software products spanning Vista Cinema, Head Office and Customer Sales Channels, enabling for the first time, a fully inter-connected suite that delivers the chain a single and total solution for optimising cinema management.
“Ster-Kinekor Theatres will be operating nearly all of Vista’s modules,” says Mischa Kay, VES’s managing director, EMEA. “This represents Vista’s broad and inter-connected suite of products focused on the exhibition industry. By moving to Vista Cinema products SKT will enter a new era, using a single software system to manage their extensive circuit of cinemas in Africa, replacing a disparate and complex network of systems from multiple vendors. We look forward to supporting their ongoing commitment to innovation in the marketplace.”
Ster-Kinekor is already a customer of VGL’s MACCS International for its film distribution business, which means the company will hold contracts with three Vista Group companies. By the end of 2016, VES and Movio offerings will be implemented in all of Ster-Kinekor’s cinema complexes in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“Establishing this deep relationship with such a valuable customer has tremendous meaning for us,” says Mr. Murray Holdaway, CEO of Vista Group International. “Signing a joint arrangement for VES and Movio alongside Ster-Kinekor’s existing engagement with MACCS International further validates our effort to build synergistic software solutions for film industry customers throughout the world.”
“Vista Group International’s rich and robust stable of companies, all catering to movie distributors and cinema exhibitors, is particularly attractive to us,” says Mr. Wanda Matandela, CEO, Ster-Kinekor Theatres. “We take our position as the leader in the African cinema market very seriously and appreciate that Vista is an expert at every facet of our operation. Innovation is at the core of our brand and providing a constantly improving and superlative experience for our guests is a corporate mandate. This partnership will support all our existing initiatives and help take our customer service and communication to an even higher level of performance.”
Movio maintains real-time, authoritative data on the loyalty activity and transactions for many of the world’s biggest cinema chains and captures the behaviour of over 34 million active cinema loyalty members worldwide. This deal enables Movio to collect moviegoer loyalty data for over 60% of the screens in South Africa. Ster-Kinekor is recognized as a digital marketing leader in the cinema space with comprehensive customer loyalty, social and mobile strategies. Movio will integrate data from the SK Club Loyalty Programme utilising Movio Cinema, Movio’s analytics and targeted marketing Software-as-a-Service solution for cinema exhibitors. By capturing the behaviour of over 700,000 SK Club members, Movio Cinema will enhance the movie-going experience for Ster-Kinekor guests and increase customer engagement through targeted campaigns delivered across the moviegoer’s preferred communication channels.
According to Mr. Darren Hampton, General Manager, Loyalty, Social and Online at Ster-Kinekor Theatres, “At the heart of our business is the art of delivering a world class customer experience. A key enabler for us is the ability to gain real customer insights to better tailor our offering thus ensuring ‘great moments at their greatest’. We believe that the ability to accumulate data isn’t the main challenge for the cinema industry. Translating that data into meaningful insights and an actionable business strategy is the real goal. Movio’s state-of-the-art expertise in accruing and interpreting moviegoers’ behaviour will add immeasurably to our own methodology and innovation initiatives.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to have Ster-Kinekor as our premiere client in Africa,” says Ms. Sarah Lewthwaite, Movio’s Strategic Partnerships Director for the EMEA Region. “Our two companies share a common vision in shaping the ultimate guest experience. Our immediate objective is to provide Ster-Kinekor with a better understanding of their SK Club members and enable targeted communications that hit the mark.”