INTRODUCING THE NATION’S PREMIER MOVIE SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE
With an ever increasing number of forms of digital entertainment vying for people’s limited downtime, the movie theater industry has faced numerous challenges over the last several years, with box office ticket sales consistently declining year-over-year. New technologies, devices and on-demand services are driving rapid innovation in other areas of entertainment, but in many ways, cinema has lagged behind, lessening its appeal even further to younger and more tech-savvy generations. Yet the movie theater still offers a unique shared, immersive experience that simply cannot be replicated at home.
As a result, the market is ripe for innovation and in need of a solution that enables people more flexibility, affordability and ease when it comes to navigating the movie theater ticketing experience, while capitalizing on changing consumer habits. MoviePass was looking to do just this. Having weathered an unsuccessful launch in 2011, MoviePass was attracted to LaunchSquad due to our close ties with the technology industry press and our experience successfully launching companies in the US market. Specifically, MoviePass was looking to rise above prior negative media coverage, win over scathing industry critics, attract new subscribers and create a broad foundation of subscribers and journalists who would act as influential advocates for the service and the company.
MoviePass approached LaunchSquad in 2011 to create a comprehensive communications plan that would relaunch them to their key audiences and set them on a new path to success. To this end, we spent a considerable amount of time prior to launch fine-tuning our narrative, while providing tough media training for the company’s co-founder Stacy Spikes. Our overall aim was to cement MoviePass as the nation’s premier movie theater subscription service, with Stacy as a thought leader and pioneer within the broader entertainment industry. In order to do so we decided to focus our outreach around regular communication with influential technology reporters, positioning MoviePass as a disruptive newcomer, bringing much needed innovation to an industry ripe for change. We tapped into audiences’ love for the movies in order to reignite their excitement and passion for the movie theater experience, then communicated the numerous benefits of MoviePass’s offering in comparison with the status quo. Finally, we scripted, produced and edited this video to showcase the ease with which MoviePass would improve the moviegoing experience.
In 2017, MoviePass received an influx of new funding from a 51% acquisition by Helios and Matheson Analytics, Inc. (Nasdaq: HMNY). With the new funding MoviePass strategically lower the price of their unlimited monthly subscription plan to $9.95/month and turned to LaunchSquad to spread the news across tech, business, and consumer press. They sought rapid subscriber growth and media attention, and were looking for a partner to help tell the story from all different angles. In order to achieve their goals, we set up an exclusive interview with Bloomberg Businessweek for CEO Mitch Lowe and on the day of the announcement pitched the news out widely to a broad swath of high-profile media outlets.
Both MoviePass initiatives were hugely successful. The overarching strategy of building a stable of influential advocates through trial subscriptions, proactive media outreach, product news and in-person meetings was extremely beneficial on its own, and also layed the foundation for the acquisition news and $9.95/month announcement. . Over the course of our relationship with MoviePass, we generated consistently positive coverage across a broad spectrum of publications focused on technology, business and entertainment. We also played a significant role in driving subscriptions and in helping MoviePass repair their damaged reputation within the close-knit movie theater industry, reopening lines of communication with theater chains and studios. Our media outreach initiatives have contributed to staggering increases in MoviePass subscribers, including most recently helping MoviePass reach their 15-month 150k subscriber goal in a period of just 2 days. Coverage has appeared in a wide range of publications from TechCrunch to Time Magazine, from Harper’s Bazaar to the New York Times, resulted in over 600 broadcast hits including on morning and primetime news shows like Good Morning America and The Today Show.