MoviePass is raising the price of its monthly subscription from $9.99 to $14.99 as the financially beleagured company fights to stay afloat. The rate increase is just one of a number of initiatives the company announced today following several weeks of financial difficulties.
In addition to the price increase the company stated in a press release that “First Run Movies opening on 1,000+ Screens [would] be limited in their availability during the first two weeks, unless made available on a promotional basis.” This meana that when moviegoers head to their local cinema this weekend, new films such as The Meg and Christopher Robin will not be available through the service.
Although subcribers to the movie-a-day service jumped to nearly three million following its price reduction to $9.99 per month last summer, MoviePass has still not been able to turn a profit. At various points the company floated plans that would attempt to monetize the user data it was collecting or which would see revenue sharing over theater concesssions, but they never came to fruition.
Recently, MoviePass implemented what they called “surge pricing,” charging a smaller extra premium for high in demand screenings. Social media reaction to the move was negative. Additionally, users complained that they were charged surge pricing surcharges when the screenings they were at were sparsely attended.
Last Thursday MoviePass suffered an outage when it was unable to pay its vendors. Service resumed the following day after the company secured an emergency $5 million loan.
How this latest round of changes to MoviePass will affect their business remains to be seen. But another change to service, and one that increases the monthly fee while seemingly adding morr limitations to its use, could lead to some users to abandon the service, creating another hurdle in the way of profitability.