With the rise of streaming and digital on-demand content, Comcast, Amazon, and Apple are set to release a new “movie rental service”. According an article published by the Hollywood Reporter, the VOD (Video on Demand) service in discussion would provide subscribers with the latest blockbuster films 30 – 45 days after the film has been released in theaters. The three companies are still in talks about development and anti-piracy measures – but if all goes smoothly the service should be available early 2018.
Although released in 2011, the app MoviePass has certainly made a name for itself in the past few weeks. The company had recently made headlines for introducing a new $10 a month pricing model, which allows subscribers to view a movie a day in theaters. Subscribers are mailed a debit card, and are able to select the theater and film they want to see on the MoviePass app. After selecting the movie, the price of the movie is credited onto your MoviePass card. The same day the $10-a-month plan was announced, MoviePass sold a majority stake of the company to the data analytics firm Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc.. Within just two days of the new pricing announcement, the company had gained over 150,000 new subscribers.
Although many customers were happy with the price cut, AMC Theaters is in attempt to block the new business modeling of MoviePass. According to a Press Release by AMC, “the reselling of movie tickets is not in the best interest of moviegoers, movie theaters and movie studios.” They claim the pricing rate to be unsustainable – and believe the service will ultimately fail due to lack of revenue. In an article from nytimes.com “A MoviePass customer who saw 31 movies in a month would be paying 32 cents for each film.” AMC is currently in the process of consulting with their attorneys to see how they can stop MoviePass from progressing.
The success of both MoviePass and the aforementioned rental service will ultimately rely on the rapidly changing viewing habits of the modern consumer. We will wait and see how these two services, and many others – will impact the way movie goers watch the movies in the years to come.
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