Mitch Lowe finally broke the silence on the MoviePass news cycle today on CNBC. Masterfully creating huge attention by bringing back the $9.95 unlimited program. A beautifully played PR move. Bringing back what customers love, with limitations now in place that makes the model much more effective.
Key News Bits
- $9.95 Unlimited is back – shows fine tuning is working
- The share of smaller markets is going up- average ticket price going down.
- “Around 30% cost reduction” This is absolutely key. 30% utilization reduction has a HUGE impact on Gross Margins – Updated model coming soon to reflect
- All but one independent theater said “send me a contract” to get a deal done with MP at CinemaCon
- Move shows confidence in model- no chance they would reintroduce unlimited if they feared near-term bankruptcy
Just when people were thinking there may not be a strategy here. It turns out they are working an incredible PR strategy of manipulating the media to stay out front and center and top of consumers minds. Yes, it seems haphazard, but I believe MP is playing this very smart, they know what they are doing and these somewhat bold plan moves are part of an overall strategy to keep media buzz high. And it seems to be working!
Want some proof of how MP thinks about PR strategy? MP and HMNY use PPMG Corp as their PR Firm. These guys are good at what they do. They have been organizing the PR blitz for MP since the beginning and looking for ways to leverage and sustain the initial PR Buzz from the first unlimited announcement.
Data and analytics company Helios and Matheson Analytics purchased a majority share in Netflix co-founder Mitch Rowe’s company MoviePass, allowing the subscription service to drop its fee to $9.95 monthly for unlimited movie theater viewings. The explosive news disrupted the industry as the agency worked with HMNY CEO Ted Farnsworth and MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe on a week-long New York City media tour and blitz, ranging from top tier national broadcast outlets such as CNN to national movie trade outlets such as Variety. The MoviePass news escalated further when AMC Theaters publicly denounced the service, enabling the agency to prolong coverage and take both companies into another editorial cycle in national and local news nationwide.
So what may feel like random changes, and potential uncertainty around the business model, in fact turns out to be a very organized campaign to sustain the media attention needed to keep interest in MoviePass extremely high.
I have worked on campaigns similar to this, it is not easy to keep the momentum going, CNBC and other big TV News outlets don’t just take anybody on the show. You have to have news to share, and it has to be something the producers think will be interesting. MP and Mitch have done a fantastic job here keeping the buzz going, and keeping people talking about MP. As I have written in the past, these media impressions are worth Millions for MP, it is advertising they don’t have to buy.
Here’s the link to my updated model with the new information today.