What the Tech? MoviePass announces more changes for customers
To stay afloat in recent weeks MoviePass has changed the perks.
If you're a MoviePass fan, the news of more changes on Tuesday could be seen as both good and bad.
MoviePass announced it is raising the price of a standard subscription from $9.99 to $14.99 and making you wait 2 weeks to purchase a ticket for a major blockbuster hit. On the surface, that sounds like a major hit for one of the best deals in the whole world wide web, but it just may keep the company from going out of business.
MoviePass has been burning through money as it became more popular with the movie-going audience. Here's how it works: A subscriber pays $10 per month to receive a debit card from MoviePass. When the subscriber goes to a theater he or she 'checks in' using the MoviePass app. Once the ticket is reserved MoviePass deposits the cost of the ticket onto the debit card which is then used to pay at the box office. Since movie tickets cost an average of $12, a subscriber who sees just one movie per month has a bargain, while MoviePass takes a loss.
To stay afloat in recent weeks MoviePass has changed the perks. First it prevented users from seeing any movie more than once. Three weeks ago it introduced "surge pricing," meaning a user would have to pay a few extra dollars for a ticket. This announcement of raising the price was accompanied with another change that prevents the purchase of a ticket for a movie until it's been released for 2 weeks.
I talked with Josh Curd who got his MoviePass card last December. He said he's seen 20 movies so far and paid $70 for seven months. "So I know we've come out ahead," he told me.
"I'm not too happy with the extra $5, especially if they continue with peak pricing and you can't see new releases for 2 weeks it's been out," he said. "I'll gladly pay $30 a month as long as you get what was initially promised to you."
I emailed a MoviePass spokesperson to ask if surge or peak pricing will still be in effect after these changes begin in the next 30 days but as of this writing I have not received an answer.
Even with the changes MoviePass is a good deal for people who see at least 4-5 movies per month and who don't necessarily mind waiting a couple of weeks to see new releases. Still, it will be interesting to see if MoviePass can stay in business after it loses customers unhappy with the change.
MoviePass claims it's responsible for about 6% of all box office sales so far in 2018.