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MoviePass is launching a new ad service that tracks how you look at movies

MoviePass is being revived two years after it was declared bankrupt.

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MoviePass is launching a new ad service that tracks how you look at movies

MoviePass will no longer allow users to view unlimited movies for $10 per month. This was a flawed business model that attracted customers but did not yield any profits. The new MoviePass will instead offer a tiered service with movies costing credits based on how popular they are and how long they have been screened. Another twist is that subscribers can earn credits by viewing ads on their phones when the service relaunches in the summer. This is provided they allow the software track their eye movements so they are watching the ads.

Stacy Spikes, MoviePass founder, presented his vision for the ad watching service at an event last Wednesday at New York City’s Lincoln Center. Spikes raised $56,000 via Kickstarter to fund the PreShow ad-watching service. He pitched it as a way to let viewers earn money from their ad consumption and get free movies. Spikes claims that PreShow's ads are similar to those shown before a movie, but they are personalized according to the viewer's preferences.

He said that it basically creates a transaction between the brand and you. "What's great about this is your smartphone, your device uses your own facial recognition."

Spikes demonstrated the software in action by watching an advertisement for a taxi service. It detected when he was turning away and paused it until he returned. He explained that this prevents moviegoers cheating the system.

He said that there was an earlier version of the same thing, in which people left their phones and didn't pay attention to them.

MoviePass spokesperson said that the ad-watching software works on any phone that has a camera. The company has yet to disclose details about the price of its new service.

"I love product placement."

It's unclear how many moviegoers will be willing to watch ads in exchange for free movies, given that the vast majority of viewers prefer to avoid ads. Spikes claims that the software will be used by at least one person, which is a good thing.

"I love product placement in movies. He told the crowd Thursday that he loves the cars, watches and clothes. "I often have a notepad, and I'm writing down 'Is it Hugo Boss?" I have a notepad and sometimes write, "Is that Hugo Boss?" "I'm that guy."

Spikes claims PreShow is an extension of movie advertising, which generates tens billions each year. He also claimed that moviegoers were able to opt in to the program and thus, directly benefited from it.

It eliminates the need for intermediaries, as opposed to people selling your data or giving you access to information. He said that we're going empower you to make that happen.

Both in and out of bankruptcy

MoviePass was launched on 11/11/2011 and grew slowly over the next half decade. It was purchased by Helios and Matheson Analytics in 2017, a data company. In an effort to increase its membership, MoviePass' monthly subscription cost was reduced to $10 per month by the new owners.

It worked. MoviePass reached 1 million subscribers in just a few months. It was then able to reach 3 million subscribers a year later. This strategy did not produce profits. MoviePass tried increasing the price, and placing restrictions on members' access to movies. But by that time it had spent most of its cash. In 2020, it filed for bankruptcy relief.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Spikes purchased his company back last year for $14,000. Spikes has a goal to enroll 30 percent of American moviegoers in MoviePass by 2030, although he admits it is a "moonshot". He has at most 200 users. Thursday's announcement saw him announce that each attendee received a yearlong free subscription.


 

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