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.