Subscription offer: a boon for movie-lovers?

  • 17 Jul
  • 2 min

Helmed by one of the Netflix founders, MoviePass is now seeing spectacular growth in the United States, but the movie subscription company still needs to find the right business model.

The subscription economy is everywhere nowadays: in the software sector of course but also in the automobile, aviation, music and luxury goods sectors, and now also in movie theaters as well. Under a subscription offer launched in August last year by its new CEO, Netflix co-founder Mitch Lowe, MoviePass enables US residents to watch a feature film every day on the big screen, for a payment of $9.95 per month. Given that a single outing to the cinema in San Francisco will set you back somewhere between $15 and $20, this offer certainly looks attractive. And sure enough, MoviePass is indeed attracting subscribers – three million to date and counting. One movie theatre ticket in every fifteen sold in the United States is purchased via its app. However, in spite of the growing popularity of its service, MoviePass is still making a big financial loss. In order to turn his movie-lover's dream into a profitable business, Mitch Lowe is betting on targeted marketing. "We know exactly who among our subscribers likes what, so that the studios are already paying us millions of dollars to promote their films. In the long run, we will for example be able to promote the new Batman to the public most likely to be receptive", he told the audience at the 2018 Subscribed conference on 5-6 June, organized by Zuora, an annual event which focuses on the subscription economy. MoviePass is also forging partnerships with producers and distributors of independent films, with a view to arranging exclusive events, meet-ups and screenings for the company's subscribers. Some more popcorn, anyone?

By Guillaume Renouard