Subscription Commerce

MoviePass Tries To Move Past The Past


It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, goes the saying.

For MoviePass, might forgiveness be in the offing? The New York Times reported Thursday (December 6) that the subscription service firm seeks to gain more solid footing — and some measure, perhaps, of positive sentiment — amid a new pricing strategy, with separate pricing components.

The move comes as Executive Vice President Khalid Itum, newly charged with day-to-day operations, told the Times, “I don’t believe that today people trust the MoviePass brand, adding, “We have to earn back that trust.”

The trust was lost amid cash crunches and mounting operating losses. Also, as noted by the Times, the company has been in flux through changing what movies it offers — and doesn’t.

Itum takes his place as CEO Mitch Lowe keeps the executive role and focuses, as the publication stated, on long-term strategy. Itum also told the Times that the company will snag trust “not by spending on marketing but by fixing the product.”

The movement, progression and changes at the company have been swift and fluid and anything but steady. As has been reported, the company last summer grabbed three million subscribers through an offer that promised that for $10 a month, members could see a movie each day, in theaters, all year long. That translated into more demand than the company could handle — in effect paying more for tickets than it made off of subscription revenues.

As has been reported, the model has been one where the theaters get paid full price and membership cards act similarly to debit cards and where smartphone apps are used to check in for the movie itself.

So things changed. The company refashioned the subscription plan to limit users to a trio of movies a month, tied to a rotating list of offerings.

Now the plan is new — again. Beginning in January, MoviePass will offer three plans, each offering members three titles a month, to a maximum of 36 titles annually. The Select plan is the most basic of the offerings, with a monthly charge of between $10 to $15 based on geographic location.  The choices, said the Times, will be limited to certain titles, and for certain days. All Access plans are the next level up and do not all for 3-D films.  The Red Carpet plan will cost between $20 to $25, and include 3-D or Imax films.

The new offerings come as the parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, said that it had $6.2 million in cash on hand, and the stock trades for pennies. Time is of the essence, it seems.


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