The Hogs and Whiners are not Quitting Moviepass Nearly as Much as Feared or Maybe Even Hoped

As far as I can tell it seems that there is a lot more bitching and complaining about the new Moviepass plans than there is actual quitting of the service.

People hate losing stuff and in the days of social media, the voracious complainers tend to stomp out the voices of the silent majority. What is very interesting is that even with all the hang wringing, whining and bellyaching,it seems that most people are still hanging on to their maligned Moviepass cards.

And why not? If you actually use the card 1 time a month it does pay for itself. If you use it 3 times a month, it is still the best deal going for movie theater consumption. Sure some heavy users are going to switch over to the AMC plan for $20 a month. But the reality is, 85% of customers don’t see more than 3 movies a month anyway. Most, on average, see a little less than 1 movie a month. At $15 a ticket, you only need see 8 movies a year for the subscription to pay for itself.

Sure some people are all bent about the deal changing. And the dorks that were going almost every day are having Facebook freak outs and Twitter tirades. But that stuff is just normal noise for Moviepass.

To know that people are adjusting to the new Moviepass reality you only have to go as far as this latest story from Business Insider. All the movies you’re allowed to see with MoviePass this weekend, and which day

These stories are written specifically because people are searching for this information. As I have explained before, these pubs are basically writing nonstop about Moviepass because there’s a big enough audience of people who care enough to click on the story.

Make no mistake. People are sticking with Moviepass, they are accepting the new terms and conditions, and it is logical for them to do so.

Many resent the company for the changes and bad customer service. But let’s be clear, if changes and bad customer service were clear indicators of businesses going under- there would be no Comcast, Sprint, T-Mobile, Microsoft and a long list of other companies.

Moviepass will likely hang on to a high percentage of its vociferous disgruntled customers, just like the cable companies have held on to their customers.

People complain about low fare airlines, about the ill effects of Walmart, the food at McDonald’s, and too many ads on the Internet. But they put up with all of them and their inconveniences because most people are inherently cheap, and they seek out the best deal.

Consumers bitch, but they vote with their pocket books. So don’t be surprised when Moviepass drops a lot fewer subscribers than you might be expecting.

Moviepass is Finally Slaughtering All the Hogs

Today was it. Moviepass has made the move to slaughter all the hogs. The Facebook groups full of losers and abusers is having their final meltdown.

It won’t save stockholders IMO because MP moved to slowly and it will likely ever recover from the brand damage done.

AMC will likely cut their benefits soon, and kill their program totally. All the hogs are headed their way.

What is Moviepass?

I am an old marketing and PR guy by trade. So when I look at a product or business I am constantly breaking them down by what is the unique value prop being offered.

Moviepass has changed their value prop from being an impossibly great deal, to being a sort of, but not very, cool way to see some movies cheaper. Including some hassles. It’s not exactly a “take my money” kind of offer anymore. But it also doesn’t totally suck. It is somewhere oddly in between.

For the $9.95 price you get to see three decent movies a month, albeit on Moviepass’s schedule and at the location they allow. Some movies are almost impossible to see. Sometimes there are no movies you can see if you have already seen the two movies being offered that day. Very oddly, annual subscriptions are different than the monthly subscriptions as they still theoretically allow a movie a day, although it is almost impossible to see a movie a day. And even more complicated is that if there is a partner theater nearby the service can be great.

In other words, Moviepass has a insanely complicated value proposition that will likely only appeal to bargain seekers and to cheapskate moviegoers in areas where there is no partner theaters nearby.

It is for sure a marketing challenge for the company. The WOM marketing is totally ruined by all the changes back and forth and the bait and switch on the offer, and now the bizarre complexity of the Value Proposition that remains.

Maybe they will be able grow the number of partnered theaters to a point where they can be a viable option with a coverage map that looks better than the early days of cell phones.

I am sure that independent theaters are missing all that Moviepass business they once had. But at the same time they likely realize they were just taking advantage of a one time bonanza that was bound to end sooner or later. For the old guard, they never really believed Moviepass was reinvigorating interest in going to the theater. Rather they felt like Moviepass was just making movies essentially free for some people, and they were having a heyday like kids in a free candy store.

As it is now, the company can hardly explain what their core service is and why a consumer would care. The CEO said in his last interview that their top competitor offers essentially the same thing now. Which of course is stupid, as AMC’s offer is actually better but more expensive.

When you have a CEO who can’t articulate a reason to buy its core product. And his basic appeal to consumers is “we have fans and it is a movement” you know things have pretty much hit rock bottom.

It’s all made worse by his public appeal to ask consumers to demand Moviepass at their local theater. In other words, we have not been able to convey a value proposition to potential partners that makes sense, so maybe you stranded Moviepass customers could do the job for us?

What a mess it has all become. If Ted and Mitch have pocket aces, they should play them soon. Otherwise fold already! it’s just getting more and more embarrassing.

Ted Farnsworth – HMNY CEO – Interview on Laura INGRAHAM Show

I don’t know what to say about this interview with Ted Farnsworth and Paul Viollis who was subbing for Ingraham on the podcast.   I can only think that Ted knows this guy somehow, or maybe Viollis owes him a favor?   Or maybe it is a paid placement type of interview.

It’s just a bizarre interview really.  Viollis throws softballs, and Ted does a bad job of answering the easy questions.  Ted needs so much help with his interview skills.  I honestly wish the company would allow me to spend the day with the guy to give him a 101 on how to do a decent interview.   He’s one of the very worst CEO interviewers I have seen – or in the case heard.

Ted if you are reading this- a few tips for you for free here buddy!

Rule #1 .  You NEVER say.  “You know” as filler space in an interview.  You have a very bad habit of saying.  You know, you know.  Over and over again.  You don’t even do that.  First, because it makes you the interviewee look like YOU DON’T KNOW, or you can’t adequately explain whatever it is you are trying to communicate.   Second, if the interviewer did know, they would not have been asking you the question in the first place.  You just never say “you know” in a professional interview or talk.  It makes you sound stupid and unprofessional.

Rule #2.  When quoting numerical or other facts about your business – know your numbers and be very specific.  Don’t say things like “we started with 20,000 or whatever it was”.   You are the CEO for Christ’s sake!  – it is YOUR f’ing job to know what the numbers were, what they are now, and to the extent possible what they will be in the future.  Your company is struggling because it screwed up numbers.  Don’t demonstrate to the world that you can’t do numbers in your interviews!

Rule #3 – Be situationally aware.  Ted as CEO, you need to show some empathy you are sitting over a company that has been totally wiped out of stockholder value, precisely because you did not really know your numbers.  So if your objective in doing an interview like this is to build confidence with your stockholders & customers, you will want to demonstrate you are aware of what has happened and have some viable explanation beyond simple cliches like.  “Stocks go up and go down” and the classic “we don’t watch the stock price everyday”.  That bullshit works with normal stocks that sway in a 20-25% range on a various news events.  It does not work when a stock has been wiped out 99.99% in 2.5  months.  That kind of drop requires an more detailed explanation.   When your company has customers being scared away from buying your product because they think you are going out of business, you just simply have to be more direct and detailed about what went wrong and what you are doing to fix it.  Explain it like you are telling a 1st grader.  Seriously – you have to do that in cases like this.  You can be succinct, but you have to demonstrate you know what went wrong and have a real plan to fix it.

Rule #4 – Don’t mention your competition by name.  If you do, you sure is hell should say specifically why you are better than them.   DON’T say AMC copied us and they have pretty much the same thing.  TERRIBLE comment!  You say AMC has a subscription that costs double ours, and can only be used at 23% of the theaters in the country.  We are half as much and can be used at 91% of the theaters, and our limits satisfy more than 85% of all moviegoers movie consumption.

Ted – if you are reading this. And I know you do from time to time.  Please contact me, I can help you!   I really can.  Your PR team is horrible, you are not well prepared for your interviews, you do not have the right sound bites, and you are not getting enough practice prior to your interviews to be any good at this.

HMNY has Been Left for Dead

The obituaries are in. No significant new press stories have been written in the past few days. There’s really nothing much left to be said.

The Moviepass product is now a strange shell of what made the product interesting in the first place. There’s little left the company could do to reduce the experience further, short of having no movies available at all, it’s now about as bare bones as you can get.

It’s especially odd, in that if Moviepass would have started out in the very low end space with a similar offer to what they have now, it maybe could have built it into a loyal cult following of theater lovers and cheapskates who were looking for a way to get a great deal on seeing a few movies a month.

But with the massive overpromise and under delivery of service, instead Moviepass has about a million consumer haters and thousands of burned investors who loath the company.

More important though the company has now been totally left for dead. The press has nothing left to say, even the mop up stories on how the company failed are getting old and tired now. The stock wipeout is complete but for .03 pennies.

Basically the disaster is done, like hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, Wilma and Dean – they are huge wipeouts that folks prefer to forget about and move on.

Now for Moviepass, what is left is some possibility of rebuilding. Maybe even a possible revenge to theaters and studios who shunned them and killed their potential.

But for now, it is just the silence after the storm. Counting the dead bodies and adding up the damage.

I have seen this with other stocks. Many regroup, find their niche and rise from the ashes. Others fade away forever to obscurity.

Moviepass I think will course for a mighty return. But it will take many months. For now it will sit lying, waiting for the next big dramatic move. It will strike out again I believe . I don’t see this company going quietly into the night.