New MoviePass: Now Taking Lessons From Premium Video Streamers?

Can the movie industry ever get back to its pre-pandemic levels?

Perhaps the answer can be found by taking a hard look at what is working with those premium video streaming services.

To do that let’s go deeper and examine the maligned subscription movie service MoviePass of a few years ago, which at one time allowed subscribers for $9.95 a month to see as many as 30 movies a month.

That service, which became wildly popular for a moment, became a massive money-losing operation, and then filed for bankruptcy. 

Now three years after being re-acquired by its original founder, it claims to be profitable. How?

Perhaps there is no surprise here. It has to do with advertising.  

After paying a monthly fee with plans that start at $10 a month for one to three movies a month, subscribers also get free credits to watch more movies over that period if they watch ads before the movie starts. 



This comes from new and promising eye-tracking technology that has proponents from advertisers vis a vis their recent focus on new and promising “attention” data metrics.

In addition, it recently it secured new equity investment from none other than Comcast NBCUniversal's Forecast Labs. 

NBCU houses the movie ticketing/information platform Fandango.

The good news is that MoviePass has found firm footing in a world other premium video streaming platforms hold in high regard -- offering advertising-supported options, 

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ as well as many others now see ads as a key growth piece of the business.

The current MoviePass has different price points -- including $20, $30, and $40 a month.

A premium $40 plan offers a maximum of five movies a month. But with credits -- and selecting certain day/time periods -- consumers could in theory see many more movies in that time period.

MoviePass also offers what entertainment consumers now consider basic to subscription services: A "cancel anytime" option.

Currently, theatrical movie revenues are not even close to what they were in 2019. And 2024 season-to-date revenues are down 21% (to $3.4 billion) vs. a year ago.

The question is: Are new consumer entertainment platforms like MoviePass enough to spur old and new movie-going consumers back into theaters? Traditional analysts might believe just more unexpected blockbusters -- Walt Disney’s “Inside Out 2” and Warner Bros. “Barbie” (of a year ago) -- are enough to turn things around.

The premium video streaming dynamic that started a few years ago is not going away. It's time to rewrite the script.

Next story loading loading..