Bringing a friend to the movie theater

The competition between movie-theater subscription services remains pretty heated, with top companies looking for any incentive to lure new customers -- and then keep them by delivering top-notch experiences and excellent customer service. Sinemia, an alternative to rival services (like, for example, MoviePass), is attempting to remain competitive with a new offer to existing customers. It's a referral bonus program, and the details were just made public, so see what's new.

Dubbed the Refer-A-Friend program, Sinemia's new initiative will give current Sinemia subscribers $10 in Sinemia credit for every new user who comes over from "a competing movie ticket subscription service." In addition, any new users who are referred to the program will ALSO earn $10 in Sinemia credit. This referral program is now available in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Turkey and Australia.

Sinemia sees this as a way to lure over users who might have cancelled their subscriptions to an existing service, perhaps out of frustration due to inconsistent technological tools or restrictions being placed on certain titles or showtimes. Sinemia CEO Rifat Oguz, in a press release, explained:

We want to provide an opportunity for our users to share Sinemia with their friends while making it more affordable and convenient than ever for new moviegoers to try Sinemia. With Sinemia, people can see the summer's most anticipated movies as well as independent features at the theater of their choice, for much less than the price of a standard ticket. We have flexible plans crafted for all types of moviegoers and want to make it easy for our customers to enjoy their movie day or night out.

Personally, I have been taking Sinemia out for a test drive, with mixed-to-positive results. Three different times I have tried to use the Sinemia app to purchase tickets to see a film. The first time, the app worked fine (basically, you buy tickets on a site like Atom Tickets or Fandango, and Sinemia gives you a one-time-only credit card to use to pay). But when I showed up at the theater, my tickets weren't there. Huh. Thankfully, I'd chosen my seat on Fandango, and the theater manager let me in -- but who wants to do that every time?

The second time I attempted to use Sinemia, I got pinched in what looked to be a server issue as the company dealt with customers flowing over from a MoviePass exodus. Try as I could to get tickets to a movie, the app and the Website just wouldn't work.

Finally, on my third attempt to use Sinemia, I successfully grabbed tickets to Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman. The app worked. The tickets were waiting on my phone. No fault, no issue.

Conclusion? The movie-heater subscription services are all going through growing pains as they attempt to meet the needs of a growing audience. The programs work -- in theory -- because they are luring more people to the theater. But they need to figure out the minute details of their subscriptions... and incentive programs like Sinemia's new Refer-A-Friend (with available credit to be earned) is another good step forward for an existing service.

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