It sounded too good to be true — $10 a month for nearly unlimited access to your local movie theater. Well, for MoviePass and its millions of loyal users, it turns out it was too good to be true.
The movie subscription service is seemingly at the end of its life — but who is really surprised? With a monthly cost that equals less than the price of a standard movie ticket, MoviePass' business model is hardly sustainable. Not even Elon Musk has hopes for the company. When asked by a distraught user if he could fix it, Elon simply responded, "No."
So, what TF happened to MoviePass?
Well, in a nutshell, it ran out of money. This past May, MoviePass burned through $45 million and is expected to lose another $45 million in June, according to TheNextWeb. The company also secured an emergency $5 million loan this week — but it's not looking good.
Without money, MoviePass has no way to issue a credit to the vendor (i.e. the movie theater), which means no movie tickets for anyone.
Users have noticed MoviePass making some last-ditch efforts to save the service, from surge-pricing to keeping blockbuster movies off the app until two weeks after their release date. (If you want to watch Mission Impossible: Fallout using MoviePass, you're out of luck).
MoviePass attempted to reassure users who were having issues buying tickets, tweeting, "We are still experiencing technical issues with our card-based check-in process and we are diligently working to resolve the issue. In the interim e-ticketing is working. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience while we resolve this issue," but things may only get worse.
Why did MoviePass raise its prices?
Now, new users will have to shell out $15 a month to use the service — but TBH, it might be too little, too late. "While no one likes change, these are essential steps to continue providing the most attractive subscription service in the industry,” CEO Mitch Lowe explained. "Our community has shown an immense amount of enthusiasm over the past year, and we trust that they will continue to share our vision to reinvigorate the movie industry."
And surge pricing? That's not going anywhere either. Meanwhile, movie theaters aren't complaining. According to the MoviePass CEO, subscribers spent around $11 million on AMC concessions alone.
As expected, users were not too thrilled with all the changes. "I got addicted to #MoviePass, now I hate to pay regular price for a movie," one user tweeted before another added, "MoviePass as a concept and at that price point was too good to last long." A third sadly chimed in, "If MoviePass dies...... am I supposed to...... pay full price for movies.............??????"
Others suggested some pretty impressive ideas to keep the company afloat.
Another user just took the time to detail MoviePass' short lifespan in one simple tweet:
Can MoviePass survive?
If you believe MoviePass, then yes. The company recently tweeted, "We're just getting started," to its followers — an obvious attempt to stop a mass exodus. However, if it is to survive, it won't be because of your $10 or even a $15 monthly fee. Most likely, the company will sell data collected from the app to partners who are willing to buy it, which means the consumer becomes the product. Just ask CEO Mitch Lowe:
We know all about you. We get an enormous amount of information. Since we mail you the card, we know your home address … we know the makeup of that household, the kids, the age groups, the income. It’s all based on where you live. It’s not that we ask that. You can extrapolate that.
Then, because you are being tracked in your GPS by the phone … we watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards, and so we know the movies you watch. We know all about you.
However, he took back those statements, saying the company has turned off its location tracking. Right... Either way, drastic changes need to happen to ensure that MoviePass users can watch a movie a day for the rest of their lives for less than the price of lunch.