MoviePass Relaunching With New Unlimited Plan as Company Aims to Be ‘More Humble’ in 2019

Six months after MoviePass began placing numerous restrictions on its subscribers in an attempt to prevent the service from completely shutting down, the company today has relaunched with a new advertising campaign and the promise of a new unlimited plan.

As reported by Variety, the so-called "MoviePass 2.0" is rolling out with a few new plans this month, with prices that change depending on your region. Plans start at $9.95/month for three movies per month, but you're limited to only a selection of specific films available each day. This "Select" plan is cheaper for people in the middle of the country, because tickets are generally cheaper in smaller cities, and in big cities it'll be priced at $14.95/month.


There's a mid-tier "All Access" plan priced at $14.95 in small cities, allowing access to all 2D films with the usual three films per month limit. Lastly, the top-tier plan is called "Red Carpet," and it is priced at $19.95/month. On this plan, subscribers can see any three movies of their choosing per month, even in IMAX, 3D, and other premium formats. In big cities, Red Carpet will cost as much as $24.95/month.

All of these new plans still restrict every MoviePass subscriber to just three movies per month, but MoviePass executive vice president Khalid Itum said that the company is gearing up to reintroduce an unlimited subscription plan very soon. Next week, a form of the original MoviePass unlimited plan will be unveiled, but pricing and specific plan details were not covered today.

MoviePass says that after losing subscribers steadily over the past few months, it has started to again increase its numbers and customer sentiment has improved.
Prior to launching the new plans, only 44% of customers had a positive feeling towards MoviePass, according to data collected by NetBase. Last week, that rose to 59% of respondents having a positive view.

“I feel like we’re turning a corner,” said Itum.
In total, Itum says that MoviePass will stop focusing on being a "disruptor" of the industry in attempt to remove the friction between itself and theater chains. This means it will no longer take large cuts of any concessions it helps to sell by getting people to theaters, but will instead charge a small service fee for items it sells. The company will also no longer ask theaters to give MoviePass a discount on tickets that it sells.

Itum is also working on a "red label" solution for exhibitors, which would help them to launch their own theater subscription programs using the MoviePass platform and existing technology. Overall, the vice president described MoviePass as adopting a "more humble" posture in 2019: "Our new business strategy is stabilize, optimize, and grow," he said.

Whether that works for the company remains to be seen. MoviePass originally made waves in August 2017 as the company dropped the price of its main subscription plan to just $9.95/month, allowing users to watch one standard 2D film every day of each month. That price point lasted for nearly one year, and eventually the company added on surge pricing, blockbuster movie restrictions, price hikes, and removed the unlimited monthly plan completely.


This article, "MoviePass Relaunching With New Unlimited Plan as Company Aims to Be 'More Humble' in 2019" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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MoviePass Now Limiting Subscribers to a Choice of Six Movies Each Day

MoviePass today announced new restrictions for its ever-changing movie service, with the company now limiting its subscribers to a choice of what appears to be six to seven movies per day.

On the MoviePass site, MoviePass lists "This Week's Movies," a section described as a "full lineup of movie titles available on MoviePass in the coming days."


For this Friday, that includes Mile 22, Christopher Robin, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, We The Animals, Skate Kitchen, Juliet Naked, and Summer of 84. Noticeably missing is Crazy Rich Asians, which won't be available until Sunday, and some of the movies seem to be limited distribution films not available in all areas.


Several popular movies that have already been released are not included for Friday, such as Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Mamma Mia, and Ant-Man.

MoviePass in early August restructured its subscription model to allow customers to see three movies per month for the $9.95 monthly fee. Prior to that, MoviePass had announced that it would raise its base subscription price to $14.95 per month, and before that, it introduced peak pricing and restricted major film releases, all in an attempt to stop hemorrhaging money.


For now, MoviePass seems to have settled on the $9.95 per month plan for three movies a month, while also restricting the movies available to customers each day.


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MoviePass Reveals $9.95/Month Plan for 3 Films, Ditching Peak Pricing and No Longer Limiting Major Movies

MoviePass is restructuring its subscription model once again, today announcing that it will not be raising prices for its subscribers and instead return to its traditional $9.95/month price tag while limiting how often users can go to the movies every month. Effective August 15, subscribers will transition to the new model upon their renewal and from then on be able to see three movies every month at $9.95.


The move follows negative responses that the company received after it announced its intention to raise the base subscription price to $14.95/month just last week. These users will also gain access to up to a $5.00 discount on any additional movie tickets purchased after they see their three allotted movies in any given month.
"We are now creating a framework to provide the vast majority of subscribers with what they want most – low cost, value, variety, and broad availability – and to bring some moderation to the small number of subscribers who imposed undue cost on the system by viewing a disproportionately large number of movies," said MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe. "We believe this new plan is a way for us to move forward with stability and continue to revitalize an entrenched industry and return moviegoing to everyone’s financial reach.”
MoviePass has had a turbulent summer, beginning with the introduction of Peak Pricing in July, rolling out Ticket Verification to all users, and restricting major film releases from its subscribers for the first two weeks of release. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal today, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe confirmed that all of these changes are now being abandoned.
After one week of analyzing customer responses and internal debate, Mr. Lowe said MoviePass is abandoning those changes. The price increase and restriction on new releases are being revoked, there will be no surcharges, and users will no longer have to upload photos of tickets they buy to prove they are not committing fraud.

“We’ve been whipsawing people back and forth,” said Mr. Lowe. “I think we’ve got it now.”
This means that the three films subscribers will be able to see each month will "include many major studio first-run films." The company says that about 85 percent of its subscribers already only see three or fewer films per month, leading to the decision to install the new plan for its entire subscriber base.

Still, it's a major change in comparison to what MoviePass announced one year ago this month, allowing users to see one movie per day every month at $9.95. The new model is akin to what MoviePass was before it surged in popularity last year, when it offered price tiers like $50/month for six movies.


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MoviePass Will Increase Price of Standard Plan to $14.95/Month in August

One day after MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe announced that subscribers will not be allowed to see select major movies like "Christopher Robin" and "The Meg," the company today announced a price hike for subscribers to its standard plan. The price of this $9.95/month tier will increase to $14.95/month "within the next 30 days," according to a press release shared today.


This increase comes just under one year since MoviePass first began making headlines by dropping its subscription price to $9.95/month, allowing users to see one movie per day and saving money for those who visit the theater often. Now, following ongoing stock price drops, a new "Peak Pricing" feature, and a recent service blackout caused by a sudden lack of money, MoviePass is struggling to stay afloat.

Today's press release also reiterates on the company's plan to limit availability of "First Run Movies" that open on 1,000+ screens (which is typically any major studio release) during their first two weeks, "unless made available on a promotional basis." This refers to films that MoviePass partly owns under its subsidiary MoviePass Ventures, gaining revenue through box office ticket sales on movies like "American Animals" and "Gotti."

According to the company, its goal is to "enhance discovery" and "drive attendance" to smaller independent films like these, and as such has decided to limit ticket availability for "blockbuster" films. MoviePass also admits that it will save money by restricting its subscribers from being able to see movies like "Mission: Impossible Fallout" and "The Meg."
In an effort to maintain the integrity of the MoviePass mission, to enhance discovery, and to drive attendance to smaller films and bolster the independent film community, MoviePass will begin to limit ticket availability to Blockbuster films. This change has already begun rolling out, with Mission Impossible 6 being the first film included in the measure.

This is a strategic move by the company to both limit cash burn and stay loyal to its mission to empower the smaller artistic film communities. Major studios will continue to be able to partner with MoviePass to promote their first run films, seeding them with a valuable moviegoing audience.
The company says that these new cost-reduction measures will cut monthly burn by 60 percent. In the end, Lowe says that these changes are "meant to protect the longevity" of the company, although it's still unclear exactly how long MoviePass will be around.


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MoviePass CEO Says Subscribers Will Be Restricted From Seeing Upcoming Major Movies

Business is not going smoothly for movie subscription service MoviePass, which is supposed to allow customers to watch one movie in theaters per a day for a $9.95 per month subscription pass.

Amid funding issues and a deep drop in stock prices, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe today held an all-hands meeting where he told employees that customers will be restricted from seeing major movie releases that include "Christopher Robin" and "The Meg."

MoviePass' Peak Pricing

The information comes courtesy of an employee who shared the news with Business Insider, and it comes just after MoviePass prevented many of its subscribers from seeing "Mission Impossible: Fallout," the major movie release last weekend.

In addition to informing employees that subscribers will not be able to see "Christopher Robin" and "The Meg," on opening weekend Business Insider says that Lowe also "implied that the practice of not offering tickets to major movies would continue for the foreseeable future." Lowe's announcement echoed a statement MoviePass released over the weekend suggesting that "certain movies may not always be available in every theater on our platform."

"Christopher Robin" is set to be released this weekend, while "The Meg" comes out on August 10.

MoviePass has been forced to restrict access to popular movies due to financing issues, with reports indicating the service was down last week after parent company Helios & Matheson ran out of money, only restoring the service after securing a loan for millions.

To prevent another shutdown, customers in many markets were not permitted to see "Mission Impossible: Fallout," and MoviePass has also implemented surge pricing for popular titles that customers have complained are affecting nearly every movie even at non-peak times.

Image via Twitter

At the time of this article, MoviePass appears to be down once again, with subscribers seeing a blank screen instead of movie options. MoviePass has not yet commented on today's outage, but the MoviePass website continues to allow new subscribers to sign up.


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MoviePass Now Charging Extra Fees for Popular Showtimes

MoviePass in June said that it would introduce surge pricing for moviegoers watching movies at peak times, and as of today, those new surcharges have gone into effect.

In an email sent out to customers and a new section on its website, MoviePass explains that its new "Peak Pricing" system may require subscribers to "pay a small additional fee depending on level of demand" for a movie.


MoviePass claims that peak pricing provides "additional flexibility" for MoviePass and its users around popular movies and times for which there is limited inventory.

The service says that to avoid fees, subscribers should choose an alternative date or film, with one fee waiver per subscriber available each month. MoviePass has provided little detail on the new fee system. Peak pricing fees are determined "based on movie demand and popularity" with movies that are in demand for "title, date, or time of day" impacted.

Specific surcharge fees have not been outlined by MoviePass, but a screenshot of the peak pricing feature shared by MoviePass displays a $3.43 fee for seeing "Avengers: Infinity War." Extra fees will be charged to the credit card on file with MoviePass.

Peak pricing will be rolling out for all MoviePass users "in the coming weeks" for all theaters, with MoviePass planning to provide details on which films will be subjected to peak pricing and how much they will cost in the MoviePass app.

Movies affected by peak pricing will feature a red lightning icon when prices have gone up, and a gray lightning icon when prices will soon surge.

MoviePass subscribers who were promised unlimited films for their monthly fee with no restrictions at the time of sign up will likely be unhappy with the new fees. MoviePass says that even with fees, the service is still cheaper than traditional movie tickets.
Even with the peak pricing fee, you will be paying less for the ticket than you would if you bought it at retail price, and in the coming weeks, every subscriber will be able to waive one peak fee per month. That said, if you would like to avoid paying the fee, you can choose an alternate title or showtime!
In the future, MoviePass plans to introduce features that include Bring a Guest for purchasing an additional ticket, and extra fees for IMAX and 3D movie showings. These new options will allow MoviePass to better compete with AMC, which recently launched its Stubs A-List service.

With Stubs A-List, customers can see three movies per week for $19.95 per month, with no restrictions on times or repeat movies. Stubs A-List includes IMAX, Dolby Cinema, RealD 3D, Prime, and Big D movies at no extra charge.


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MoviePass Will Introduce Surge Pricing for Popular Films Beginning in a Few Weeks

Movie subscription service MoviePass today confirmed that it will soon introduce surge pricing into its business model, charging customers from $2 and up for films that the company deems popular. The news comes from MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe, who confirmed to Business Insider that surge pricing will affect monthly subscribers while annual subscribers will be exempt from what he describes as "high-demand" pricing.


The change will appear for affected subscribers within the "coming weeks," according to Lowe. Surge pricing is a dynamic, time-based strategy that apps like Uber use when a large amount of customers are requesting rides in the app but there aren't enough drivers to taxi them around.

Now this will extend to MoviePass, so on opening weekends or at particularly busy late-night showings of popular movies, monthly subscribers should expect to pay a bit more above their locked-in $9.95/month subscription price. Because this is not a fee that the movie theater is charging, users can expect MoviePass to take the surge pricing fee from the credit cards associated with their account -- although Lowe or any MoviePass spokesperson has yet to confirm this.
"At certain times for certain films — on opening weekend — there could be an additional charge for films," Lowe told Business Insider.

Lowe said this decision was a way to have its theaters partners see more traffic for big blockbusters in the mid-week and less-crowded weekends following the movie's opening weekend. It was also to "make sure that we can continue to offer a valuable service and support the whole enterprise," Lowe added.
Otherwise, there are two other additions coming to MoviePass this summer: a bring-a-friend feature and IMAX/3D screenings. In the MoviePass iOS and Android app, subscribers will be able to add on a ticket for a non-MoviePass friend, the cost of which will be "somewhere near the retail price of the ticket."

For IMAX and 3D movies, users will be given the option to pay an added fee for the premium screenings, ranging from $2-$6 according to Lowe. As of now, one of MoviePass' detriments is that it only allows subscribers to watch regular 2D movies. At launch subscribers will have to choose one of these features or the other for a single film, but eventually they will be able to combine premium and bring-a-friend options for the same movie.

The MoviePass news comes after AMC just yesterday revealed its own movie subscription service, which will let customers watch three movies per week for $19.95 a month -- including IMAX and RealD 3D showings. Lowe responded to this new rival service today as well:
"It's been tough when you have the president of AMC essentially for eight or nine months telling everybody that our subscription was not sustainable, and then he comes out with a program that essentially could cost him $60 or $80 a month to pay the studios their minimums and collecting $19.95," Lowe said, referring to AMC CEO Adam Aron. "So it is a little bit kind of funny that it's pretty clear what he wanted to do — clear the way for his own subscription program and not have competition."
All of the new MoviePass features -- including surge pricing -- will appear in the MoviePass app by the end of August.


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AMC Launches ‘Stubs-A-List’ MoviePass Competitor for $19.99 Per Month, Launching June 26

AMC today announced the upcoming launch of a new movie-watching service that's designed to compete with MoviePass, allowing AMC customers to watch several movies per week for a monthly fee.

While MoviePass permits customers to watch one movie per day for $9.95 per month, there have been questions about its long-term sustainability. AMC's "Stubs-A-List" offering will let customers watch three movies per week for $19.95 plus tax, which it claims is a "sustainable price."


MoviePass does not permit customers to watch more than one movie per day or to rewatch movies they've already seen once, both features that are included in the Stubs-A-List program.

Stubs-A-List can be used at all AMC, AMC Dine-in, and AMC Classic theatres in the United States, with other perks that are not available through MoviePass. Customers can book tickets online in advance, including at AMC Theatres with reserved seating, and it includes IMAX, Dolby Cinema, RealD 3D, Prime, and Big D movies.

Movie tickets can be purchased at AMC Theatres, on the AMC website, or through the AMC Theatres app, available for iOS and Android.

AMC's new offering also includes all of the benefits of its AMC Stubs Premiere program, with "VIP service levels" at theatres, no online ticketing fees, and discounts on food and beverages, such as free upgrades on popcorn and soda.

Stubs-A-List will be available starting on Tuesday, June 26.


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MoviePass CEO Admits He Was ‘Completely Inaccurate’, iOS App ‘Has Never Tracked’ Users in Background

Last week, movie subscription service MoviePass received negative press when CEO Mitch Lowe mentioned that the company watches "how you drive from home to the movies" and notices "where you go afterwards" using location tracking in the background on iOS. This week, through customer support emails and in an interview with Variety, MoviePass and Lowe are apologizing over this "mischaracterization" of how the service locates its members and are trying to clear things up once and for all.

In a letter that began hitting subscriber inboxes yesterday, Lowe admitted the need to "eliminate any misconceptions" that MoviePass is collecting location related data when it shouldn't be. He explained that the MoviePass app uses "standard" location services capabilities on an opt-in basis, and specified that there are only two events that would prompt MoviePass to identify your location: when you perform a search for nearby theaters and when you check into a theater.


Otherwise, Lowe stated that Moviepass does not follow you before or after you watch a movie, or at any time that the app is not open.
MoviePass does not track and has never tracked or collected data on the location of our members at any point when the app is not active.
Last week, following Lowe's comments, the company removed the background tracking capabilities from the iOS app. In the letter, the CEO said that MoviePass "does not use and has never used this feature."

Lowe echoed these sentiments in an interview with Variety, explaining that prior to the update, MoviePass used Apple's three standard privacy tracking options: "Never," "While Using the App," and "Always" -- the option that was removed. In regards to the "Always" tracking capability, Lowe said that because the company never used it, "it was confusing to have it there." Lowe mentioned that MoviePass lost just "half a dozen" customers over the newly raised privacy concerns.
In an interview with Variety on Monday, Lowe said he was mistaken about what data the MoviePass app actually collected. “I said something completely inaccurate as far as what we are doing,” he said. “We only locate customers when they use the app.”

He added, “If you get in your car and drive five miles, we don’t know where you are or where you are going.”
While MoviePass has confirmed it isn't tracking subscribers in the background and when the app is closed, the service is still built around collecting and sharing user data with exhibitors and studios. MoviePass ensures that this data has been "completely anonymized," so that "there's never any personal information" shared with its partners. MoviePass monetizes this data sharing process and is the main way the service intends to stay afloat and make money going forward.

Lowe also mentioned the company's vision for its future, where MoviePass wants to be the center of "this whole night at the movies" idea, giving users recommendations for events after watching a movie. Of course, following the privacy concerns of the last few weeks, Lowe reiterated that, "When we do that, if we do that, we'll send a request to each customer to let them opt in or opt out."


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MoviePass App Tracks Your Location Before and After Movies

MoviePass, the app that allows you to watch a movie in theaters each day for the low price of $10 per month, is unsurprisingly planning to use your location data to make money.

As TechCrunch points out, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe recently told an audience at a Hollywood event that MoviePass is collecting and monetizing through location information.


"We get an enormous amount of information. We watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards," said Lowe.

MoviePass, which is owned by a data analytics firm, has made no secret of the fact that it plans to use data generated from subscribers to make money. "There are dozens and dozens of businesses like ours that invest in building a large subscriber base," Lowe told Recode in early February. "Netflix buys $8 billion of content a year, and believe me, they have to borrow the money to do it. Or companies like Facebook -- it's free, but they're monetizing all the advertising and all the data about you. That's exactly what we are [doing]."

While MoviePass has been transparent about how it plans to make money, most people are likely not aware of the extent of the data the company collects. As TechCrunch says, it's likely users assumed MoviePass would collect data like ticket sales, movie choice, promotions, and more, rather than detailed location data that tracks your movement before and after seeing a film.

MoviePass's privacy policy says that the app requires access to location when selecting a theater, and that it makes a single request for location coordinates. There's no mention of ongoing tracking, so it's not clear if this is something the MoviePass app is doing on the sly, if such tracking has yet to be implemented, or if the CEO's comments were exaggeratory.
MoviePass(R) requires access to your location when selecting a theater. This is a single request for your location coordinates (longitude, latitude, and radius) and will only be used as a means to develop, improve and personalize the service. MoviePass(R) takes information security very seriously and uses reasonable administrative, technical, physical and managerial measures to protect your location details from unauthorized access. Location coordinate data is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology into password-protected databases.
iOS users who are concerned about MoviePass collecting excessive data can restrict access to their location on the device level. To do so, open the Settings app, navigate to Privacy, and then choose Location Services. From there, select MoviePass.

You can opt to change your location setting to "Never," "While Using the App," and "Always." You'll probably want to leave it on "While Using the App," as location information is required when making a ticket purchase. Alternatively, you can toggle "Never" on and off whenever you use the MoviePass app for further security.

MoviePass charges $9.95 per month (or $7.95 if you pay for an annual subscription) and allows customers to see a 2D movie each day. MoviePass provides customers with a debit card that's loaded with money to make ticket purchases, so it works at more than 90 percent of theaters across the United States.

With ticket prices that often exceed $10 in certain areas for a single movie, MoviePass is a solid deal, if you don't mind sacrificing your privacy for cheaper movies.

As of January 2018, MoviePass had 1.5 million subscribers. The MoviePass app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]


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