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MoviePass subscriptions skyrocket – BBC News

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Media captionWATCH: Mitch Lowe explains the concept behind MoviePass

A US company that claims it has found a way to boost cinema attendance is seeing membership skyrocket.

MoviePass, which offers almost unlimited movie tickets in the US for a low monthly fee, says it has more than 400,000 subscribers.

That’s up from less than 20,000 in mid-August, when it lowered its price to $9.95 (£7.40).

The company is led by a co-founder of Netflix, which reshaped television and video with online streaming.

On-demand video has also hurt attendance at US cinemas, which have raised ticket prices in part as a result.

MoviePass offers subscribers one movie a day for $9.95, down from its earlier $50 pricing and less than prices at many US theatres.

Subscribers can reserve seats using the app, then take their MoviePass card to redeem tickets at participating theatres, which include about 90% of theatres in the US, according to MoviePass.

The firm hopes that increased ticket sales will make up for the losses incurred from its low fees – assuming that cinemas will share profits from increased food and drink sales.

The company aims to have about 2.1 million subscribers in the next 12 months, according to a statement from the firm’s investors.

Demand since the price drop has been so strong it has led to delays in card deliveries, and reportedly forced the firm to take on more staff.

“Though [the price cut will be] expensive for the company in the short-term, it’s a significant benefit and more convenient for customers,” explained chief executive Mitch Lowe, who co-founded Netflix.

AMC Entertainment Holdings, which runs about 660 cinemas in the US, has threatened legal action against the firm. Its theatres are among those that accept MoviePass cards.

AMC called the model “unsustainable” – although it recently said it was exploring its own subscription plan, but at a higher price.


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