The controversial subscription service for movie-goers, MoviePass, is still chasing new customers as it attempts to rapidly grow its user base before its funding runs out. After growing from 1.5 million to 2 million users in less than a month’s time, the company has now teamed up with streaming service Fandor to appeal to potential subscribers with a bundled offer.
The two companies announced a “limited time offer” which includes both a MoviePass and Fandor subscription for less than $116 per year.
However, some users were confused about the new pricing plan worked.
Like MoviePass says, the deal will lower the MoviePass subscription down to $7.95 per month from its usual $9.95 per month. But the full annual fee has to be paid upfront, not monthly.
The company hasn’t decided how long before this offer expires, but it’s not the first time that MoviePass has tried a bundle. The same offer was originally tested back in November 2017, and was well-received, says MoviePass.
The Fandor subscription includes access to a collection of over 5,000 independent films, documentaries, classics, international features and shorts.
The deal arrives at time when MoviePass’ business model is being increasingly scrutinized. The company claims its users now drive more than 5 percent of the total box office and is continuing to grow its user base. But MoviePass is subsidizing the cost of those tickets for now, while betting on the fact that it will be able to monetize in other ways.
For example, it aims to make money from studios who want to target its customers with their marketing efforts, or access user data to learn about trends; it’s taking a cut of ticket sales and concessions at some theaters; it has begun to acquire movies; and it hopes that eventually, users will slow down their movie-going to their usual once per month (or less), after the initial rush of having an all-you-can-watch subscription wears off.
Not all theater chains are thrilled with MoviePass, however. MoviePass recently pulled out of several high-traffic AMC locations as the chain refused to negotiate on a rev-share deal.
“We already know in past testing that MoviePass subscribers are not theater-loyal; they’re happy to drive by a theater that may be closer to a theater that will accept MoviePass -because of the MoviePass value,” MoviePass majority owner HMNY’s CEO and Chairman Ted Farnsworth said, threatening AMC.
The company has also more recently faced issues with customers using the pass to offset the cost of IMAX or Fathom Events movies, which is prohibited; or were buying tickets that they exchanged for gift cards. MoviePass canceled these users subscriptions, it said. Meanwhile, some users claimed they were seeing too many movies, which is why they were kicked off.
Subscribers who sign up for the new Fandor offer will be billed $115.35 ($7.95 a month plus a sizable $19.95 processing fee); They will then receive one full year of MoviePass and one full year of unlimited streaming from Fandor.