Movio taps into the UK/Europe Cinema Market: Q&A with Nick MacAvoy

movio-nickConcluding a stellar year of growth and awards in 2014, Movio have now expanded into the UK, setting up an office in London to tap into the European cinema market. With their global reach spreading, they need more staff back at their headquarters in Auckland to keep up with demand.

Workhere caught up with Nick MacAvoy, Movio’s Vice President of Operations for EMEA, to talk about Movio’s expansion and what the company has to offer.


How long have you worked at Movio? And how did you come across them? 

I’ve been working at here for just over a year and a half now. How time flies!

I first became involved with Movio when I was exiting my last business in London. My good friend and long-time colleague Peter Beguely (CSO and co-founder of Movio) got in touch and mentioned I should talk to Will Palmer (CEO and co-founder of Movio). I had done business with Will a decade ago, so I was curious about what Movio was up to and the possibility of getting EMEA started. Within weeks Will and I were sipping pints in London talking about the company and the opportunity ahead. In September 2013 I went back to Auckland and spent nine months in HQ before coming over to London to set the office up with a fiancée in tow. I’m super excited about Movio’s story to date, and for the future.

When did the UK office open and what has hiring new staff been like? How many staff work there now?

We opened in May 2014. There are currently two of us. Will having hired our second employee – the cinema and loyalty expert Sarah Lewthwaite, who was formerly VP Marketing at Cineplex Entertainment (Canada’s largest exhibitor). We’re based out of the Vista Group UK’s office in Hammersmith London who have 30 or so employees in a great environment.

What does having an office in the UK mean for Movio’s expansion?

It’s been an important step in expanding in the region. We are now in the same or similar timezone for EMEA cinemas, so they can pick up the phone to call us easily. We can also visit our customers to assist with loyalty strategy or to support the Movio product suite. Europe is geographically small, so we’re able to successfully canvas the region from London by offering a face-to-face service, which has historically been one of the challenges of being based in New Zealand. However, international business development supports the growth of our Auckland office where the product development and global sales and marketing teams are based. Movio is constantly recruiting talented Java developers and testers, willing to migrate to New Zealand, and is now looking for new staff in data sciences, general administration, marketing, account management, etc.

What is the significance of the European cinema market? And what are the major milestones of Movio breaking into this market?

Movio’s initial focus was on the North American market as the epicentre of the film industry. The European market plays a pivotal role with four countries in the top 10 international box office markets. Movio is now able to provide the Movio Cinema platform in any language, which will support the development of this market.

Many large cinema operators in the UK own other cinema chains throughout Europe so there is potential for rapid growth by on-boarding a few key customers. Our first significant milestone in the region was signing Mars Cinema Group in Turkey soon after establishing the EMEA operation. They’re a fantastic organisation investing heavily in technology, marketing, and operations to be at the forefront of cinema operator thinking and ambition in Europe.

By the end of 2014, we had acquired two customers in the UK: Showcase, an extension of our partnership with National Amusements from the United States to the United Kingdom, that demonstrated their confidence in the Movio Cinema solution; and Picturehouse Cinemas, a network of art house cinemas owned by Cineworld. Watch this space for more!


Movio are currently recruiting talented Java/Scala Deveopers and testers in Auckland.

Click here to learn more about Movio and their current job opportunities.