After a bumpy year, and an even bumpier week, MoviePass is ready to unveil a new plan that should put an end to the company's money woes. Big changes are in store for subscribers, including a price hike and restrictions on the usage of the service. MoviePass is estimated to have provided 6 percent of the past year's box office sales.
MoviePass shocked customers and theaters alike when the company announced its $10 subscription plan last year. Moviegoers were able to capitalize on the affordable service, with the potential to view a film every day of the month for only $2 more than the traditional single movie ticket price. Issues arose in this unusually affordable service, however, and the company was forced to resort to surge pricing, blocking major releases, and other tactics to avoid going bankrupt.
Business Wire reports the company's latest announcement detailing plans to avoid future financial strife. Chief among those being a rise in the monthly cost of the subscription. The $10 model will see a $5 price hike, for a total of $15 a month. This change will be seen relatively immediately, going into effect over the course of the next month. Larger releases will have limitations placed on the number of times subscribers can see them in the first two weeks following their debut. Promotions may be in place for some of these bigger titles to allow increased access during that time period. Some sort of anti-fraud measures have been planned, though details have yet to be provided.
The company was hit hard last week, suffering outages due to a lack of funds. MoviePass' parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc., obtained a $6 million loan in order to continue providing service and ease out of the shortages. But just as the service was getting back on its feet following the outages, Tom Cruise's major vehicle Mission: Impossible - Fallout was blocked from users. MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe compared the blocking of the film to HBO series not being available on Netflix.
Subscribers may balk at the price hike and limited availability of major releases, but this does seem to be a plan that keeps everyone's best interest at heart. The new price of $15 a month for multiple viewings can still save subscribers a lot of money. And if all goes well, limited access to blockbuster films is better than no access at all. The key factor in MoviePass' plans for growth is the vague promise of anti-fraud measures being taken. It doesn't seem clear exactly what the company has in mind, but the likelihood of a more stringent check-in or booking service, along the lines of AMC, could be on the horizon. This would be a major inconvenience to those who want to plan their theatergoing experience ahead of time. And is likely to be the change that receives the most pushback, should it take place.
Source: Business Wire