MoviePass has changed its business model. Again.
Adding to the clear lack of long-term direction, the latest redesigned business model seems to be even more based on the good of the company and less on the value offered to customers.
The press release, which is all there is to currently go on, is fairly cryptic in its approach as it fails to explain how these changes will impact subscribers to the service in real terms.
For example, the big point being made is that the new model “no longer depends on achieving revenues from studios or exhibitors to succeed.” Instead, the new model will prioritize “self-generated revenues” by focusing on “the economic relationship” between its various arms - MoviePass (the subscription service), MoviePass Films, and Moviefone.
Reading between the lines, the assumption here is that the MoviePass subscription service is becoming far more of an internalized product than it was before. For example, subscribers to the service will be able to see movies made by MoviePass Films as part of their subscription. A move the company says will “increase inventory” and more importantly in the eyes of the company, “increase our revenue per MoviePass subscriber.”
The last point, coupled with the ‘no more dependence on studios or exhibitors’ point seems to suggest the option to see movies outside of those brought to market by MoviePass films will be less available in the future, if at all available.
In other words, the new MoviePass plan is for subscribers to pay for a MoviePass monthly subscription that lets them see a MoviePass-made movie and have the entire app-to-theater experience bolstered by the ad division that's also owned by the company. You can see the common denominator here.
MoviePass has come under a lot of criticism of late for the way in which it has treated its paying customers. From reducing the number of movies a person can see as part of their subscription, to reports of entire days where there’s been no access to any movie at all, and when movies have been available the company has been accused of artificially inflating peak prices. There’s even been plenty of former customers complaining that in spite of leaving the service, it continues to charge them the monthly amount. As well as various accusations that the company actively makes it difficult to exit a subscription in the first place.
All of this has been underwritten by the company’s attempts to sure up revenue and fight what was quickly becoming an escalating financial issue. This latest move seems to be continuing on the same trajectory as it involves directing customers to MoviePass revenue-generating avenues, and at every level of the experience.
Due to the situation the company found itself in, is what clear MoviePass needed to do something to maintain a customer base sufficient enough to maintain operations. Although whether this is the correct approach remains to be seen.
Providing this new model plays out as MoviePass intends then this will help to make the company more sustainable and will give the company more control over how many tickets it can make available to certain movies. The issue many might have with this though, is that these benefits will only apply to movies made by MoviePass.
For those that don’t have much interest in seeing the company’s own movies, this new model is unlikely to make any positive difference to their current MoviePass experience.