MoviePass released an official statement today addressing the recent financial issues it has faced, as well as some of the measures the service will be implementing in the near future as a means to return to profitability. These include cutting down on the accessible list of available movies to subscribers, an increase in the monthly cost to subscribers, and “additional tactics” designed to prevent further “abuse” of the service.
The most significant of the changes is the price rise as MoviePass has confirmed it will be upping the cost of its monthly subscription from $9.95 to $14.95 per month. MoviePass did not specifically state when the price increase will take effect, although it will be happening within the next thirty days. This week had already seen one report suggest the service was going to stop subscribers from seeing ‘major releases’ and now MoviePass has officially confirmed this, while also explaining some of the finer details. For example, during the first two weeks of availability for new and popular (defined as showing in more than 1,000 screens at launch) movies, availability with be “limited.” No further specifics on this were provided although the language used highly indicates popular first-run movies will more likely not be available, than available. In addition, it is also now clear that in spite of the limited first-run tickets, MoviePass intends to continue to utilize the Peak Pricing premium model for popular and in-demand movies that subscribers can see during busier time. As these are less likely to include first-run titles, it seems likely Peak Pricing will be in effect for a wide range of movies during peak times.
While these won’t sound like positive changes for the service, MoviePass does make the case that they are necessary changes for the the service to remain operational and will cut the “monthly burn by 60-percent.” Something which has seemingly proved to be a massive issue of late with the service having seen multiple disruptions and blackouts in the past week, a $5 million bailout from the U.S. SEC, and a significant drop in the share value of the service’s majority owner, Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc.