The trials and tribulations of the MoviePass cinema subscription service are such, they could actually make a pretty decent film one day.
Less than a week after the app’s parent company announced it was raising prices 50% to $14.95 and limiting access to new movies, the struggling firm has changed tack. It is not raising prices and will still offer access to “some” first run films. However, the days of being able to see a film every day of the month are numbered.
The current $9.95 a month plan will remain priced as such. However, cinema-goers restricted to just three movies a month, from August 15. MoviePass says only 15 per cent of its current members see four or more movies per month, so the change will have no impact on 85% of customers.
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The consolation prize for the other 15% is they’ll be able to get $5 off the fourth ticket (and other subsequent tickets). The company is also getting rid of surge pricing and the need to verify ticket stubs with a photo.
In a press release the company says the rethought cost cutting measures address many user concerns, while also clamping down on abuse of the service.
It writes: “We have heard – and we have listened to – our MoviePass Community and we will not be raising prices to $14.95 a month. The new plan is focused on usage by the bulk of our subscribers who have historically used MoviePass to attend three movies or fewer a month.
“Additionally, the new plan addresses past misuses which imposed undue costs on the system, including ticket scalping, unauthorized card usage and other activities, which in the past necessitated the use of certain remedial measures that have sometimes been inconvenient for our subscribers.”
In July, the service went down for an evening after MoviePass ran out of the cash it needed to pay partners. It was forced into a $5 million emergency loan just to keep the lights on.
The firm believes these new measures will cut costs by 60 per cent, which will stop the financial bleeding and help it move towards profitability. It says it needs 5 million subscribers to get into the black, and is currently hovering around the 3 million mark.
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