While Netflix and Hulu are currently killing the entertainment game right now, it's safe to say most people would have never thought they'd see the day that subscription-based pricing would hit movie theatres. Especially considering how vocal bigwigs in the theatre industry have been regarding their distaste for the concept.
Regardless, an American company named MoviePass has been achieving success nonetheless and the concept of movie theatre subscription is becoming a serious topic. A lot of this is thanks to Mitch Lowe, a co-founder of Netflix who took over Movie Pass back in June of 2016.
If you have no idea what MoviePass is (don't worry, most people don't), it's a subscription-based movie plan where you get to go to the movies whenever you want, however many times you want for only $9.95 a month. If you are a movie lover, this is practically heaven on earth, and over a million people have realized this and signed up in the past 4 months. To give a bit more context as to how insane of a growth spurt that is, it took Netflix more than three years to garner a million subscribers.
While this is a great concept for movie-goers, it's definitely not something anybody who has money invested in the other side of the movie industry wants to see do well. AMC Entertainment went as far as to publicly state that Mitch Lowe wasn't welcome at their theatres anymore because of his role with MoviePass.
So how does the app work? Essentially you use the MoviePass app on your smartphone almost like a debit card and scan when you go into the theatre. While many are skeptical as to how the company claims that movie theatres will get the compensation of regular admission prices while the monthly subscription rate is lower than just one full price ticket, Lowe is unphased. Rather he sees the venture as a business that will most likely break-even. The value not lying in the actual profit from the company but rather the data they will be able to collect from moviegoers using the app that they can sell to production companies.
Just recently the MoviePass team was able to raise a whopping $60 million dollars for expansion funds, so it's clear that the company will definitely be making some big moves in 2018. While the app isn't available in Canada yet, we can only hope that the continued success in America will mean it's introduction to the Canadian market. Who knew that the possible solution to low theatre attendance rates due to subscription services could be solved with a subscription service!
Source: New York Times