Troubled movie subscription service MoviePass has over 3 million subscribers. They face several issues that may make them flee or that may make potential new subscribers wary. The newest is that MoviePass will charge users more money than their standard fees during some hours or on some days.
MoviePass made note of its new policy:
Peak pricing is a new dynamic pricing system based on the demand for particular showtimes. After taking into consideration demand for a title, date, or time of day is higher, subscribers may be asked to pay a small additional fee depending on the level of demand. You can avoid this peak surcharge by choosing an alternative date or film, and every subscriber will be able to waive one peak fee per month.
Another major reason people may pass on MoviePass is that the largest theater chain in America, AMC, has its own subscriber service. AMC Stubs was launched last month, and MoviePass may not get people into every film. Finally, there is the chance MoviePass may not survive much longer. Parent Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. (NASDAQ: HNMY) is short on money and may be unable to raise what it needs to operate well into the future. Its share price has plunged this year.
The biggest problem with the new surge pricing is that it is not part of the pact MoviePass has with its subscribers. They suddenly have been asked to pay more than what was “promised” them, at least as far as many see it. The current price plans are “unlimited,” which for $9.95 allows people to “see a movie every day.” The “limited” plan at $7.95 month lets people see three movies. In either case, the surge pricing both was not part of the original deal and also was unexpected.
People expect to get what they pay for. MoviePass has changed that part of its deal with subscribers and given them reason to abandon the service.