What the Tech? MoviePass returning to original plan with slight catch
It isn't exactly the plan that disrupted the movie theater business two years ago. But MoviePass is bringing back its movie-ticket-a-day plan, this time its called "Uncapped.”
That's good news for moviegoers, many who were spoiled by the almost-too-good-to-be-true original bargain. All the movies you can watch for just $10 a month. MoviePass Uncapped sends subscribers a MasterCard debit card they'll use to pay for movie tickets, up to one per day. When the subscriber selects a movie using the MoviePass app, the company transfers enough money to the card to purchase a ticket. Subscribers can also use the MoviePass app to pay for e-tickets.
But there's a slight catch with the uncapped plan. The $9.95 per month subscription is an introductory price, and it'll go up after the first year. And to get the $9.95 per month plan you have to pay for an entire year up front, or around $120.
The same uncapped plan, if you pay month-to-month, is $14.95 per month. That is also an introductory offer and MoviePass can raise prices and change the rules at will, which it has done over and over again the past two years.
First MoviePass restricted which movies were available to subscribers, new releases and big hits were excluded for up to two weeks. Then it prevented subscribers from seeing the same movie more than once. Changing the plan again, subscribers could choose from just a few titles and show times each day. Then, it was limited to two movies a month. And in its Terms of Service, MoviePass states it can change the rules, including price without prior notice.
MoviePass has struggled, the stock price of its parent company is down to a penny a share. which might dissuade someone from paying for an entire year up front.
In its announcement, Ted Farnsworth, Chairman and CEO of MoviePass' parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics said, "While we've had to modify our service a number of times in order to continue delivering a movie-going experience to our subscribers, with this new offering we are doing everything we can to bring people a version of the service that originally won their hearts. We're thrilled to introduce this new uncapped plan at a price point that is unbeatable in the industry."
In its prime, 3-million people subscribed to MoviePass but experienced significant declines in memberships since last summer. They hope by bringing back the unlimited, uncapped plan, some of those former subscribers will come back to MoviePass and to theaters.