After months of attempting to keep up with the competition, Sinemia is officially the first cinema subscription service for moviegoers to bite the dust. The program has been on a slow decline alongside its competitor, MoviePass. The latter was the first company to introduce the idea of a subscriptions service for movie theaters. Its original plan allowed users the chance to see one movie a day for $10 a month. Though a great idea in hindsight, especially for those who couldn't keep up with the rising cost of ticket prices, the plan ended up sinking the subscription service's ship.
Sinemia was one of the first companies to jump on MoviePass's bandwagon. The company had found major success in the U.K., Canada, Turkey, and Australia, and eventually expanded across the United States in February of 2018. A lot of its success derived from its four-tier business model, which gave users the opportunity to choose their own seats and purchase tickets in advance, along with little-to-no restrictions on what format one could watch a movie. It was a more flexible plan that came at a perfect time when MoviePass was slowly starting to crumble.
Unfortunately, Sinemia found themselves in the same hot water as MoviePass. In a notice posted on the company's website, Sinemia couldn't, "see a path to sustainability," as an independent subscription service. The company also pointed out that a lot of their financial struggles are coming from covering, "the cost of unexpected legal proceedings," and raising, "the funds required to continue operations," which, "have not been sufficient." It's similar to MoviePass's downfall, in which both companies can't stay afloat in an economy that is unable to maintain their desired business models.
The mention of legal proceedings is also in regards to MoviePass, as the company took to filing a lawsuit in early 2018 against its competitor. The company accused Sinemia of stealing many of its key features, mainly the features included on its mobile app. This wasn't the only legal battle the service has taken on, though, as the company was also facing a class-action lawsuit over its fees. As far as MoviePass's legal stance, it's an interesting one to take considering the rise of other moviegoing subscription services that are fairly similar ideas overall, like the AMC Stubs A-List program, and more recently Atom's upcoming service for movie theaters.
The downfall of these subscription services is an interesting one to watch unfold. The development of various, affordable business models seems like an exciting idea at first, but finding the benefit for the companies involved seems to be a common denominator. On the bright side, these services have aided in keeping movie theaters alive and thriving. During a time when streaming services are reigning supreme in the digital world, subscription services have benefited the public and movie theaters in a major way. Not only have they given moviegoers a cheaper option, but it brought new life back into movie theaters. So, even though Sinemia couldn't keep up with the times, its contributions will serve as a stepping stone for subscription services later down the line.