Google: It's Showtime
Google launched a new feature that enables users to find out local movie showtimes. You can search using city or zip and sort by movie or by theater. Ratings/reviews are provided by what appears to be a partnership with the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). The information can be delivered via SMS/wireless as well.
This is a simple but valuable enhancement to Google's local offerings, though it's not integrated into Google Local at this point. Currently movie theaters and showtimes (as well as the capacity to purchase tickets) are available on Yahoo! and AOL.
More bad news for traditional newspapers.
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It looks like Google uses an affiliate ID code and thus earn money from sales of movie tickets which is a slippery slope for them. Imagine if google linked to a pharmacy for diet pill queries. They are competing against their advertisers although maybe they figure no one is buying the keyword movie tickets. On the other side, the AFID may mean nothing but is required for implementation – I will ask google at SES and see what they say.