MoviePass CEO: The Subscription Model Is the Future for Theaters

MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe joined Glenn on radio Wednesday to talk about his company’s subscription business model and why movie theaters should actually be excited about people seeing unlimited free movies. He explained why MoviePass was first designed for millennials, a generation accustomed to subscribing to everything.

“We realized that what we really needed to do is to reinvigorate, especially, millennials,” Lowe said. “They talk themselves out of going to the movies. … ‘I’ve already got Netflix or Hulu; I’ll just wait and see it then.’”

For one fee, people can use MoviePass to see as many movies as they want to each month, as long as they don’t go to more than one movie per day or see the same film twice. MoviePass recently dropped its price from $50 to just $10 per month.

Movie theaters benefit from people being in the theater and buying concessions, so they should welcome a subscription service that encourages people to come to the movies, Lowe asserted.

“I think the movie theater experience is just totally changing,” Glenn said. “I think the future is putting me into some sort of cocoon where I never, ever want to leave.” As an example, he cited local theaters that serve people food while you watch the movie.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

STU: You can give your critique on the script too. The coauthor of American Assassin. Tomorrow, he joins us. The beginning of this hour on tomorrow's program. But one of the things that I love about movies and I have a new appreciation of them and can go to much more of them because of it is called this ridiculous movie called MoviePass.

GLENN: I don't -- there's something wrong here.

STU: It's ridiculous. There's something wrong. It's too good. When it's too good to be true, it means it's too good.

GLENN: Right. Mitch Lowe is here. He's the CEO of MoviePass.com. And, Mitch, I personally may put you out of business because I see too many movies. So...

MITCH: Hey, that's what we want. We want to reinvigorate the movie theater going. So we would love to see that.

GLENN: Okay. Honestly, I'll bankrupt you. I see almost every movie made, and I love to go to the movies. It is a pastime with me and my family. But we see probably a minimum of four movies a month. And under your service, I pay $10, even in New York where the ticket is $16, and I can go see any movie I want and I can see as many movies as I want, as long as it's not the same one over and over again, right?

MITCH: That's right. It's one a day. It's one a day.

GLENN: So how is that working for you? I'm trying to figure out the business model. How does that work?

MITCH: So here's the thing: Yes, there are about 11 percent -- 36 million people in the US and Canada that go to a lot of films every month. They go to roughly 18 films a year on average, and they buy half of all the movie tickets. But there's 51 percent of the population that go to less than a movie a month, and that's who primarily join our service. So, yes, everybody like yourself who goes to lots of movies joins. They get huge value, and they tell everybody about it. But the majority of our subscribers are people who go to three to six films a year prior to joining MoviePass. When they join, they double the amount of films they go, so now they're going to six to 12 movies a year.

So the majority of our subscribers roughly go to one a month. And then there's a small group of people who end up going five, ten times a month. And it drives up the average a little bit.

GLENN: Okay. So it's 9.95 a month. It used to be $50 a month.

MITCH: Yeah. Thirty to $50.

GLENN: How -- what happened to where you could drop it down that low?

MITCH: Well, what we found -- you know, when we were 30 to $50, we were really just appealing to the people -- that 11 percent who go a lot already. And we got them to go more often. But essentially, it was a -- at first a price point that only appealed to a small group of the public.

GLENN: Yeah.

MITCH: And we realized that what we really needed to do was to reinvigorate especially millennials. Over the past five years, millennials have decreased their amount of times going to the theater by 20 percent. And the reason why is now they have all these other alternatives. In fact, they talk themselves to go out of the movies. They go, I don't know if it's good enough. I've already got Netflix or Hulu. I'll just wait and see it then.

And what we really -- these are people that grew up on subscription. And really, what are subscription services, it's insurance against a bad movie. Now we can go and experiment. And if they don't like it, they can walk out and trash it the next day to their friends.

STU: Hmm.

GLENN: When you put this together -- because AMC doesn't like this.

MITCH: Yeah.

GLENN: But I think the movie theater experience is just totally changing. I think the future is making me -- putting me into some sort of a cocoon where I never ever want to leave. And that's what's happening -- at least here in Texas, that's what's happening to movie theaters. Where great food -- they'll deliver anything.

MITCH: Yeah.

GLENN: I'm guessing there's a few that would even deliver lap dances. I'm not sure. But they just never want you to leave. And I'm guessing, that's where they make their money. Not on the actual ticket.

MITCH: Yeah, that's right. Concessions are 80 percent margin. You know, when you buy that popcorn or soda, 80 percent. And when you buy a ticket, it's roughly 50 percent. So the theaters really want you in the theater.

And, by the way, when you join MoviePass, what happens, because you're not pulling out that 10-dollar bill to pay for a ticket, you spend more money on concessions, which is great for the theaters. And that's why AMC should love it.

GLENN: Why don't they?

MITCH: Well, you know, we had a two-year partnership with AMC. You know, we -- we both contributed to a blind data report that showed that we doubled people's frequency of going to the movies. Increased their consumption of concessions. And AMC, I believe, you know, came to the point where they said, "You know, we should just do this ourselves." And so I believe this is a little bit of sour grapes in seeing that kind of we beat them to the punch. And, you know, I know they will probably release their own subscription program soon.

STU: We're talking to Mitch Lowe of MoviePass.com.

Mitch, one of the criticisms I've seen from AMC and others is that you are preparing people to pay $10 a month for movies. And then when you go out of business in two years, everyone is going to think the old movie price is too high.

MITCH: Yeah. Well, you know, I was on the founding executive team at Netflix and the COO of Redbox, and that's exactly what Blockbuster said to Netflix and they said to consumers. Don't look at these little guys over here that are offering an innovative service. Keep paying us the high prices.

GLENN: Yea. Are you publicly traded now, Mitch? Is this publicly traded?

MITCH: We're 51 percent owned. The deal isn't closed yet. But shortly, we'll be majority owned by a public company. It's HMNY. Helios & Matheson. And they are -- the reason why we sold half the company to them, a little more than half, is they are a big data and analytics company. And what we want to build is this great experience around going to the movies. And we're building upon their foundation. Their technology. That will build a whole night at the movies experience.

GLENN: I'll tell you, I think this is why AMC is wrong on this.

I don't -- you know, AMC should do what AMC does well. And that is, give me a good movie experience. But I wouldn't want a subscription with AMC, because then I'm locked into just AMC. I mean, if you were a public --

MITCH: Exactly.

GLENN: This might be the kiss of death: I would invest in your company because I think what the future is, is companies that say, "I just do this one piece. And I do it really, really well."

MITCH: Yeah.

GLENN: And they just start linking pieces together, to make everybody's experience super easy.

MITCH: Yeah. You have to listen to consumers. And what typically happens to the dominant player is they lose touch with their consumers. And they spend more time trying to protect an old way of doing things, at the cost of offering, you know, new benefits to consumers. And that's -- that's exactly what, you know, startups can do, is where -- I absolutely love movies. I love them in every way. And, you know, I started with video stores 30 years ago. And I just love movies. And I know the artists -- the creative community makes movies for the that's right, for the big screen, the big sound. You know, laughing with other people around you. They don't make them for the mobile phone. And even though that's fun and a great opportunity, you know, it's really the theater --

GLENN: No, there's nothing better -- yeah, there's nothing better than the theater.

MITCH: Yeah.

STU: And, Mitch, it is a -- any theater you want to go to -- I think a lot of people would think, oh, well, I have to find one of these theaters. It's literally any theater -- you basically have what is a debit card almost.

MITCH: Yeah. It's -- it's over 90 percent of all the theaters.

So there are some theaters -- you know, some drive-ins and some places that only take cash that you can't use it.

GLENN: Can you still use it at AMC? Can you still use it at AMC?

MITCH: Absolutely. You can still use it at AMC.

STU: And I don't know, Mitch, if you do radio-based customer service, but I have not received my card yet. I've just been using the app. So we really need to work that out.

MITCH: Well, we absolutely underestimated demand. And we were not prepared for the amount of new subscribers we had. We're still catching up. You know, on those first couple days, we were the third most searched word on Google after Charlottesville and Korea. And we continued to get thousands and thousands of new subscribers every day. And we're catching up fast. But you'll get yours soon. And I apologize. Your first month does not start until you get your card. So even though we charged you in advance, the month doesn't begin until you get your card.

STU: That's awesome.

MITCH: And I'm extremely sorry and I apologize.

STU: We're rooting for you. This is really cool.

GLENN: We are. Mitch, thanks a lot. Mitch Lowe. He's the CEO of MoviePass.com. That's MoviePass.com. I will be a member by the end of the day.

Acclaimed environmentalist and author of "Apocalypse Never" Michael Shellenberger joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to warn us about the true goals and effects of climate alarmism: It's become a "secular religion" that lowers standards of living in developed countries, holds developing countries back, and has environmental progress "exactly wrong."

Michael is a Time "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress. He has been called a "environmental guru," "climate guru," "North America's leading public intellectual on clean energy," and "high priest" of the environmental humanist movement for his writings and TED talks, which have been viewed more than 5 million times. But when Michael penned a stunning article in Forbes saying, "On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize for the Climate Scare", the article was pulled just a few hours later. (Read more here.)

On the show, Micheal talked about how environmental alarmism has overtaken scientific fact, leading to a number of unfortunate consequences. He said one of the problems is that rich nations are blocking poor nations from being able to industrialize. Instead, they are seeking to make poverty sustainable, rather than to make poverty history.

"As a cultural anthropologist, I've been traveling to poorer countries and interviewing small farmers for over 30 years. And, obviously there are a lot of causes why countries are poor, but there's no reason we should be helping them to stay poor," Michael said. "A few years ago, there was a movement to make poverty history ... [but] it got taken over by the climate alarmist movement, which has been focused on depriving poor countries, not just of fossil fuels they need to develop, but also the large hydroelectric dams."

He offered the example of the Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world. The Congo has been denied the resources needed to build large hydroelectric dams, which are absolutely essential to pull people out of poverty. And one of the main groups preventing poor countries from the gaining financing they need to to build dams is based in Berkeley, California — a city that gets its electricity from hydroelectric dams.

"It's just unconscionable ... there are major groups, including the Sierra Club, that support efforts to deprive poor countries of energy. And, honestly, they've taken over the World Bank [which] used to fund the basics of development: roads, electricity, sewage systems, flood control, dams," Micheal said.

"Environmentalism, apocalyptic environmentalism in particular, has become the dominant religion of supposedly secular people in the West. So, you know, it's people at the United Nations. It's people that are in very powerful positions who are trying to impose 'nature's order' on societies," he continued. "And, of course, the problem is that nobody can figure out what nature is, and what it's not. That's not a particular good basis for organizing your economy."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Dr. Voddie Baucham, Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to explain why he agrees with Vice President Mike Pence's refusal to say the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

Baucham, who recently drew national attention when his sermon titled "Ethnic Gnosticism" resurfaced online, said the phrase has been trademarked by a dangerous, violent, Marxist movement that doesn't care about black lives except to use them as political pawns.

"We have to separate this movement from the issues," Baucham warned. "I know that [Black Lives Matter] is a phrase that is part of an organization. It is a trademark phrase. And it's a phrase designed to use black people.

"That phrase dehumanizes black people, because it makes them pawns in a game that has nothing whatsoever to do with black people and their dignity. And has everything to do with a divisive agenda that is bigger than black people. That's why I'm not going to use that phrase, because I love black people. I love being black."

Baucham warned that Black Lives Matter -- a radical Marxist movement -- is using black people and communities to push a dangerous and divisive narrative. He encouraged Americans to educate themselves on the organization's agenda and belief statement.

"This movement is dangerous. This movement is vicious. And this movement uses black people," he emphasized. "And so if I'm really concerned about issues in the black community -- and I am -- then I have to refuse, and I have to repudiate that organization. Because they stand against that for which I am advocating."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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We're going to be doing an amazing broadcast on Thursday, July 2nd, and we will be broadcasting a really important moment. It is restoring truth. It is restoring our history. It is asking to you make a covenant with God. The covenant that was made by the Pilgrims. And it's giving you a road map of things that we can do, to be able to come back home, together.

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On last week's Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck revealed where the Black Lives Matter organization really gets its funding, and the dark money trail leading to a cast of familiar characters. Shortly after the program aired, one of BLM's fiscal sponsors, Thousand Currents, took down its board of directors page, which featured one of these shady characters:

Ex-Marxist professor and author of "Beyond Woke," Michael Rectenwald, joined Glenn Beck on the TV show to fill us in on the suspicious change he discovered on the Thousand Currents webpage and the Communist terrorists who is now helping run the organization. (Fortunately, the internet is forever, so it is still possible to view the board of directors page by looking at a web archive from the WayBack Machine.)

Rectenwald revealed the shocking life history of Thousand Currents' vice chair of the board, Susan Rosenberg, who spent 16 years in federal prison for her part in a series of increasingly violent acts of terrorism, including bombing the U.S. Capitol building, bombing an FBI building, and targeting police for assassination.

"Their whole campaign was one of unbelievably vicious, murderous cop killings, assassinations, and bombings," explained Rectenwald of Rosenberg's terror group known as the May 19th Communist Organization or M19.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


Glenn's full investigation into the dark origins of the funding behind Black Lives Matter is available for BlazeTV subscribers. Not a subscriber? Use promo code GLENN to get $10 off your BlazeTV subscription or start your 30-day free trial today.

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