Subscription service MoviePass, which became renowned for offering users the ability to buy a movie ticket per day for $9.95 per month, has drastically altered their plan for new members. Last year, the company saw its numbers skyrocket when it slashed its monthly price from $50 all the way down to $9.95 per month. They currently have more than 2 million subscribers, who were eager to enjoy the benefits. As theater ticket prices continue to rise, paying less than $10 for an entire month's worth of films certainly had its appeal. A recent survey indicated MoviePass users are seeing more movies than normally.
Still, there were some skeptics who felt the idea was too good to be true. Paying for the full cost of a movie ticket for 2 million people isn't cheap, and many wondered how this business model could be sustainable in the longterm. As it turns out, these thoughts seem to have crossed the minds at MoviePass, and new subscribers looking to get in on the fun may be stuck with a heavily diluted version of the service.
Earlier this month, MoviePass changed their terms and combined theater tickets with a 3-month free trial of iHeartRadio. People are billed for the first three months at signup, and then charged quarterly after the trial. The catch, however, is that this deal only allots users four movies for the entire month - a stark contrast from the "one movie per day" setup that was so highly touted last year. When asked by THR if that particular plan would ever return, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe simply stated, "I don't know."
It's important to mention that this appears to apply only to MoviePass newcomers, meaning those who joined prior to this shift shouldn't see any changes to their personal plans. While that's good news for MoviePass veterans, it'll be interesting to see what impact this has on the service gaining new customers for the rest of 2018. It's true there aren't always five or more must-see new releases every month, but MoviePass' "ticket per day" deal was very handy for the times multiplexes got crowded with offerings (i.e. summer and awards season) that are worth checking out. The prospect of having fewer opportunities to use MoviePass' advantages may cause cinephiles to look elsewhere (Sinemia is a chief competitor). At the same time, MoviePass is still a generally solid deal. The average ticket costs $9.18, so four would come out to $36.72. People will continue to save money with MoviePass, just not as much.
The four-movie limit also wasn't chosen at random. Lowe has noted 88 percent of MoviePass users see fewer than two films in a month, so a majority of customers would still get great use out of the service. Nevertheless, this represents a notable change in the company's strategy, leaving some to wonder what else MoviePass could have in store in the future. In fact, Lowe told THR earlier "there were no plans to water down the service," but that has obviously now happened.