A Big Weekend and No Major Moviepass Meltdown Reported

The stabilization of Moviepass seems to be continuing. A big holiday weekend, with surprisingly decent box office numbers came and went without any serious issues for Moviepass.

There was some complaints on available shows and showings, but that is a bit of a new normal for Moviepass.

My spot checks on supply and variety of movies in the Seattle and Portland areas was actually not bad at all. I didn’t see anything, but could have easily gone any of the major films had I wanted to.

Complaints seem moderate to low on social media. No emergency loans, no new negative changes to the service.

It’s like thy are acting like a normal respectable company that is in business for the long term.

Go figure! With all the negative press you would’ve never thought it would be possible.

NRG Research Group Who Created Moviepass Hit Piece – Despised by Consumers

After looking through the recent NRG survey and resulting news storm of negative headlines Created I thought I would do a little research to find out a bit more about this company and where they come from. It turns out NRG Research is a company out of Canada and is completely despised by consumers.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. NRG is certainly entitled to their opinion but I highly question the effectiveness and the accuracy of their research.

A quick search on Google turns up a listing for the company with 1.5 star rating – even lower than beleaguered MoviePass itself. Reading through the reviews of the company it seems that they relentlessly bother consumers at home even when asked to be taken off of their call list. The reviews read like a laundry list of angry consumers trying to get the company to quit bothering them.

This is important as it demonstrates that NRG is likely dealing with a selection bias in their methodology. It is also highly likely that NRG misrepresented their comparative data, not using a consistent audience pool to conduct a proper longitudinal test.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. NRG is certainly entitled to their opinion but I highly question the effectiveness and the accuracy of their research.

It is rare for a reputable research company to manipulate the reporting of results the way that NRG did when collaborating with the Hollywood Reporter. As I outlined in my earlier post it was clear that NRG Along with Hollywood Reporter Fully intended on writing a hit piece against Moviepass. The data laid out in a way that was clearly intended to show a radically declining membership base and lower customer satisfaction scores.

I am not disputing that the changes from MoviePass have had a negative effect on the company. They most certainly have. What I take issue with is NRG their methodology and how they present their data in a way to make things look purposely worse than they actually are. This is being done for one simple reason. There is an absolute feeding frenzy going on with negative press for MoviePass. Some of it warranted much of it not. Hollywood Reporter is highly motivated to keep that negative momentum rolling.

The Hollywood establishment that has been resisting change has seeded the negativity. Hollywood Reporter has been influenced by the establishment, and it makes sense as it is an industry rag, and they know where their bread is buttered. And they know that Hollywood establishment wants Moviepass to fail.

It’s just more biased fake news.

Want to know more about NRG’s Unscrupulous tactics. Check out this site. We all know how nice Canadian people are and it’s rare to see them go after a company of their own. It turns out that an NRG research it’s totally dishonest in their recruitment of research panelists.

More Terrible Clickbait From Business Insider

This story is just sort of unbelievable, along with being idiotic. Business Insider has jumped the shark on Moviepass Clickbait with this headline and story.

A passionate army of shareholders has shouldered MoviePass’ massive losses, as its leadership feeds them empty assurances

These kids at BI have no shame. They are basically turning into paid bashers. This story is so idiotic that it is almost funny.

The story conflates and confuses Farnsworth’s comments at the July 23rd shareholders meeting. BI says “While seeking support for measures he needed passed at a special shareholders meeting in July, Helios CEO Ted Farnsworth characterized them as an “army” and stressed that he had their best interests in mind.”

BI references this comment as it were made about shareholders. When it was totally obvious that Farnsworth was talking about the loyal Moviepass subscribers. Remember even in the Hollywood Reporter hit piece there are still 52% of subscribers who are VERY LIKELY to recommend the service. So even if you hate Ted- the guy has a point that there is a big base that still loves the service.

The author goes on to describe the obvious dilution that has happened and the R/S – all of which are now old news. Then makes zero effort to explain the many factors why more shares were needed to be issued, and making no mention of how this dilution could stop on a dime. And how shares could easily be bought back in the hundreds of millions very quickly.

Also no mention of the B/E statements Farnsworth made in the Fox Business News segment earlier today.

These negative one sided articles are all about driving clicks. Covering all sides, ensuring multiple perspectives, none of that matters to Clickbait farms like Businesses Insider.

Business Insider is a fake news organization founded by a Wall Street convicted SEC banned personality.

Done trust BI – they have more misses, half truths and flat out biased coverage than almost any other online pub.

Model Update Post CEO – Ted Farnsworth Fox Business Interview

In Today’s Fox Business Interview CEO Ted Farnsworth claimed that the Moviepass subscription businesses is now break even.

Specific numbers Farnsworth claimed in the interview.

  • Utilization Rate is now at .9
  • Approximately 10% of yearly subs quitting.
  • Did not give monthly sub retention rate.

If you believe Ted’s #’s – and the prior numbers given for non subscription revenue – it does appear that the company is very close to breakeven. And on the sub basis alone, they should be showing a positive gross margin. I used $11 for a average ticket price. Which is higher than MPAA estimates.

I dropped the subs to 2.6M and built back up from there.

Here’s the model. Things are looking pretty good!

Moviepass Hiring New CMO

Update! They are at least trying to put a stake in the ground! Here’s Ted with an update from Fax News.

Video Link

Ted does his best to defend HMNY and points to progress on profitability on subscriptions alone. He goes just short of saying they have hit profit for subs.

As I have mentioned before – Ted is a terrible interview. He constantly says. “You know” and “I think”. And he is loose with hard facts and numbers. This is a CEO in desperate need of media training. I have worked with a lot of C-Level spokespeople. Ted is really terrible at this game.

Ted is so bad in fact, I think it discounts the stock significantly. If Moviepass does survive, and I think it will, I see no chance Ted will survive as CEO. He is just not smart or good enough for the job. The guy is in way over his head, and it shows.

He did slip out one interesting tidbit in the interview saying the yearly sub drop rate was 10% at the flip. He acknowledges Sinemia and offers nothing other than they are a smaller company. Not exactly a reason to buy Moviepass, but a true statement.

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Moviepass is hiring a new CMO, and all I can say to that is – Thank the lord! They need some real help with PR, Branding and Messaging. They seriously can’t hire this job fast enough.

Here’s some free advice to whoever lands the role. You are welcome!

Moviepass needs to go on a offensive PR campaign. The company should update their subscription numbers, and should provide update on cash burn and dilution expectations.

Until then, the only PR they can expect will be negative news. Like a beaten down celebrity or politician, who’s career may be shattered by scandal, the company needs to air out ALL of its dirty laundry, and communicate its plans more clearly for rehab.

I talk to people all the time about Moviepass, I am not shy as you can imagine, and the number 1 thing I hear as an objection to trying Moviepass is “I heard they were going out of business”. People generally think the 3 movies a month deal is great. But they don’t want to bother with a company that is dead man walking. It is a death knell for new customer trial, and it is also killing the company’s reputation more broadly.

The only way Moviepass will be able to overcome this is with a full on PR Blitz. They should underpromise and then overdeliver on a sub announcement. I still believe anything north of 2 Million Subs would serve as a relief to investors and would be confidence from the press.

The company should come clean on dilution and expected outstanding shares for end of year. Even if the number is scary large, they should remove the uncertainty.

The company appears to actually be improving execution, with new deals yesterday with Postmates and Draft Kings- both hot companies with young audiences. So I am assuming they are having some luck convincing these companies that they are going to stay in business.

Why not try and convince the general consumer audience of the same thing?!

Look at the news coverage from yesterday- nobody picked up the positive PR on the new deals, all the coverage was on Schramm scam. It was just more reinforcing to consumers that the company is dying.

Good luck to whoever lands the new CMO job. You got your work cut out for you!