Movies aren’t the attraction they once were, at least when it comes to theater showings.
The digital age has presented viewers with many different ways to see the content they want. In addition to new viewing options, viewing experiences have changed. People can now enjoy content in a more personalized manner, dimming some of the appeal movie theaters once had.
But as markets change and new competition arises, older models often adapt to stay relevant. MoviePass is a great example of this. The service aims to let users see multiple movies per month for a regular fee.
A recent slash in prices has once again gotten eyes on the service. Now, when users sign up for the annual plan, they can pay $6.95 per month to watch unlimited movies in participating theaters across the US.
This is a hefty slash from the former rate of $9.95 per month. The newly lowered monthly-cost puts the yearly fee at $89.95. Though the deal is only temporary, it is available to both new and current subscribers to the service. MoviePass did not comment on how long the promotion would last.
MoviePass is used to slashing prices in an effort to make movie theaters the popular destination they once were. Their last change brought so many new sign-ups that the company had trouble accommodating the demand.
The change involved adapting their $15-per-month service that allowed people to see two movies each month. They dropped the price by roughly a third, charging users $9.95 instead. The bigger change dealt with how many movies were allowed with the service. Even after reducing the rate, MoviePass allowed viewers to see one movie per day.
The change saw 150,000 new users come aboard, sending subscription numbers soaring up to 400,000. Last month, the company surpassed 600,000 subscribers. Retention numbers have also improved, as users are seeing the value in the service and sticking with it.
Data firm Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. now owns majority stake in the company, amounting to roughly $27 million. They increased the price by $1.5 million in October, adding 0.71 percent stake. They recently announced plans to increase their investments to $100 million.
Though MoviePass has been getting enough investments to subsidize their costs and grow their subscriber numbers, they’re still operating in the red. Their current strategy won’t do much for their long-term profitability, but it may buy them some time.
As for their future plans to bring up profits, management has expressed hopes that movie theaters will see the value in the service and integrate MoviePass as a result. The company also noted it may be able to sell the data it has gained from subscribers.
While the pass is accepted at over 90 percent of theaters nationwide, not every movie company is a fan. AMC said the service could devalue the experience theaters give to customers, and even spoke about legal action against it.
Other companies like Cinemark and Regal are waiting to see how the service pans out in the future to decide whether or not they’d like to integrate it into their business model.