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Which movie subscription service should you choose? | Polygon

For a few months in 2018, it seemed like everyone was constantly seeing movies with a subscription service called MoviePass. In the summer of 2017, the all-you-can-watch buffet dropped in price from $40-$50 per month to $9.95, leading some 2 million people to sign up. It sounded too good to be true — unlimited movies for less than the cost of one ticket a month?

As it turns out, it was. MoviePass gambled on the idea that the valuable audience data it would gain from the service (and sell to other companies) could subsidize the fees it paid theaters. That turned out to be unsustainable, especially as theater chains started pushing back. MoviePass tried several different tactics to stay in business and mollify big studios, like blacklisting blockbuster titles and charging surge fees to prime showtimes. It even shut down for a night because it literally ran out of money, only to be rescued by an emergency bailout from a hedge fund.

Still, MoviePass wasn’t a completely failed experiment. After restructuring several times, MoviePass is still kicking, albeit in a much different format than an unlimited movie subscription for just pennies a day. For one thing, pricing is determined by market, as it was when the service launched. Subscriptions now include only three movies per month, and at the base tier, subscribers have to choose from a tiny pool of titles.

While that’s a disappointing compromise after the promised unlimited subscription, there’s no denying that the rise and (relative) fall of MoviePass ushered in a new way to think about going to the movies. As theaters try to keep up with streaming, some companies are taking MoviePass’s lead and implementing subscription programs of their own.

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Which movie subscription service should you choose? – Polygon.