MoviePass, the subscription service that provides theatergoers the ability to attend unlimited movies at a fixed monthly rate, is promoting their innovative pricing model one more time. According to yesterday’s press release:
MoviePass Inc. announced today it will enable film enthusiasts across the country the ability to attend unlimited movies for a fixed monthly fee to encourage greater attendance at theaters.
The MoviePass service will be available nationwide as an invitation only Limited Private Beta. Charter subscribers will be able to extend invitations to friends and family.
MoviePass will be using Hollywood Movie Money’s system to access the 36,000-plus screens in their theater network. After making their movie selection, MoviePass subscribers will print out Hollywood Movie Money vouchers to take to the theater. A full mobile version of the MoviePass service is in the works for early 2012 deployment.
“Because MoviePass will be paying theaters the full price of admission using the Hollywood Movie Money system, the theater industry benefits as well as the fans,” said Ron Randolph-Wall, CEO of Quantum Rewards, operators of Hollywood Movie Money. “With theater attendance down we believe that any opportunity to drive moviegoers back to theaters benefits exhibitors, studios, and the creative community alike.”
This is their second attempt at using the unlimited movies pricing model. Just a few months earlier in June, MoviePass launched a similar program which didn’t go over very well with its partner theater owners who ended up pressuring the company to rethink its business (pricing) model.
Well, rethink MoviePass did. But what they didn’t do was consult their theater owner partners. So what did all this rethinking achieve? Not much. MoviePass decided to roll out the same pricing model as before–the same one that elicited the initial concerns.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
Still, theater owners’ concerns about MoviePass remain the same as they were in June, says a person familiar with the matter. This person says that as before, theater owners weren’t consulted about the development of the new program.
“The relationship between us and the theaters is a financial arrangement,” counters Mr. Randolph-Wall, comparing MoviePass’s tickets to travelers checks. “We don’t need to talk to them and they don’t need to hear from us.”
Ouch! “We don’t need to talk to them and they don’t need to hear from us.” That’s not exactly the best way to treat your partners…
Here’s the takeaway: Innovative pricing model or not, the only way for MoviePass to succeed is to get their partners on board 100% with the pricing model. It looks like MoviePass disagrees…
Patrick Lefler is the founder of The Spruance Group – a management consultancy that helps growing companies grow faster. He is a former Marine Corps officer; a graduate of both Annapolis and The Wharton School, and has over twenty years of industry expertise.