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MoviePass has been seriously struggling recently and in an attempt to stop the bleeding had announced a number of changes to the subscription service, including an increase in the monthly cost to $14.95 and the blacking out of major new releases for a period of two weeks. Today, in response to user outcry, MoviePass has announced a change to their changes. The movie ticket subscription service will now be keeping its monthly cost at $9.95, but will begin to limit users to seeing three movies a month for that price. For users who want to see more movies, a discount of up to $5 per ticket will be offered. According to MoviePass, only about 15% of users see more than three movies in a month, so the vast majority should be unaffected, but since that 15% had been a major financial issue for the service, MoviePass should remain sustainable going forward. According to MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe...
As is true with any new company, we've evolved to accommodate what has become an unprecedented phenomenon. We are now creating a framework to provide the vast majority of subscribers with what they want most -- low cost, value, variety, and broad availability -- and to bring some moderation to the small number of subscribers who imposed undue cost on the system by viewing a disproportionately large number of movies. We believe this new plan is a way for us to move forward with stability and continue to revitalize an entrenched industry and return moviegoing to everyone's financial reach.
From the day that MoviePass dropped its monthly subscription price to $9.95 a month a lot of people were curious. Considering that even a single movie ticket costs more than that in many markets, it didn't seem feasible that users could see one movie a day and allow MoviePass to survive. It's now clear that it wasn't feasible at all.
In addition to keeping the price point the same, but reducing the number of movies one can see in a month, MoviePass also announced it is ending its peak pricing policy, which saw a surcharge added on top of some screenings if they were deemed too popular, and the company also says that "many major studio first-run films" will be offered, implying that the two-week blackout will also be ending in most cases, though the use of the word "many" rather than "all" makes it sound like it may not be gone entirely.
If it's true that 85% of MoviePass users don't see more than three movies in a month, then the vast majority of users will be happy with this news, as it sounds like it will mostly return MoviePass to the product that it was right after the price drop. For the rest, the $5 discount might be enough to make it worth keeping the service and seeing a bunch of movies, it won't be as cheap as it was, but it will still be a lot cheaper than it could be.