Conversations happening all over America:
"Have you heard of MoviePass?"
"No, what is it?"
"You pay $9.95 a month and can see one movie a day?"
"How's that even possible?"
"Yeah. IDK. But let's go to the movies while it lasts!"
Friends, we're here to tell you: MoviePass is real. We've used it. We love it. And it's taking over America. Until a few months ago, MoviePass was used by a tiny tiny portion of movie viewers. But then they suddenly dropped their price to a ridiculous $9.95/mo and that got the public attention. Their # of subscribers grew to 1 million, and then 2 million. MoviePass has been accumulating subscribers by the hundreds of thousands every month. According to MoviePass' CEO, MoviePass has been buying more than 6% of movie tickets nationwide.
So what's the deal? This company is clearly losing money. We've got the scoop on how it works and a theory about what they're trying to do. MoviePass also has some similarities with AutoSlash. It's part of why we love them If you're curious, read on!
What is MoviePass?
MoviePass is a service that allows subscribers to purchase one movie ticket each day for a flat $9.95/mo subscription.
Is it really $9.95/mo?
Is this a bait and switch?
How does it work?
You sign up for Movie Pass
They charge you $9.95 a month
They mail you a MoviePass debit card which arrives in a few days
You use the MoviePass app to find a theatre near you and a movie you want to see
When you are near the theatre, you indicate in the app which movie you want to see and they transfer the FULL PRICE of the movie ticket to the debit card so you can buy the ticket at the theatre
You get a ticket and see the movie
You can see one movie every 24 hours
MoviePass hemorrhages money
What's the fine print? It seems like there would be a lot of fine print.
- It does not work on 3D or IMAX films
- It does not cover any concessions or refreshments
Why don't the theatres just forbid it? Seems like MoviePass is making a grab at their business model.
Ah! That's the beauty and elegance of MoviePass. Since MoviePass loads the funds for the movie onto a generic debit card, there's no way the theatres can stop you.
We have heard anecdotal reports from people who got some negativity from theatre representatives when they tried to use their MoviePass debit card (it is branded with MoviePass on it) or even got turned away, but is just anecdotal. One person repoted that they put some tape over the MoviePass logo on the card. In our experience, it works pretty well and we have never been turned away.
MoviePass user Anne Fleur Andre said:
- "Overall, it works really well and you really cannot beat the price! It is accepted everywhere I went"
- "The app was super clunky at first, and definitely not user-friendly"
- "You have to be super close, within 100 feet of the theatre to activate the card"
MoviePass user Ben Oduro said:
- "I love MoviePass. Whenever I can I try to make some free time for a movie. MoviePass makes me more open to seeing movies that I'd usually never go and see, for which I'd usually wait to see on TV or a streaming platform"
- "Since December of 2017 until March of this year I've seen 27 movies whereas my usual number would be one every month"
- "The only time I've ever had an issue with MoviePass is when it sometimes takes a while to load and reserve my ticket, but it does not happen too often"
In summary, here's the upsides of MoviePass:
And the downsides:
So what the heck is MoviePass doing losing so much money?
In our opinion, MoviePass might have three immediate strategies:
- Collect Your Data and Monetize It: If you have to buy through MoviePass, they will know a lot about you, which they can, in turn, sell to advertisers, producers, and theatres.
- Force a negotiation: Force the big movie companies to the negotiating table. The big theatres are definitely concerned that MoviePass will teach the public to want super cheap movies. We think MoviePass might be trying to get to a point where a critical mass of movie-goers use the app and force big guys like AMC and Regal to the table (or threaten that they'll send their users elsewhere). Some smaller theatres are already bowing to the pressure and cutting deals with MoviePass.
- Build an Ecosystem: MoviePass recently bought MovieFone, a movie listing and information portal with 6 to 8 million unique users per month. This integration could help generate more valuable data like reviews + personalized recommendations and online communities, ensuring that users use MoviePass/MovieFone for an end-to-end experience of movie media, movie shopping, and movie going.
How MoviePass is Like AutoSlash - Seriously!
At AutoSlash, we're in the business of getting you a hella good deal on a rental car. Just like MoviePass, the big guys (the rental car companies in our case) don't like us. They loved their high prices, stiffing customers left and right. We believe that customers have a right to a deal and we try to make that happen by applying every coupon code and tracking prices.
So our team at AutoSlash is rooting for MoviePass. We hope they can make movies more affordable, more accessible, and more fun everyone!