Stacy Spikes is determined to modernize the moviegoer experience with a groundbreaking smartphone app.
The former Miramax executive founded MoviePass Inc. in February 2011 with business partner Hamet Watt. Ever since then the self-confessed film buff has been on a mission to shake up the movie industry.
Backed by deep-pocketed investors, including AOL Ventures, MoviePass allows members to watch an unlimited amount of 2D movies in over 90 percent of theatres nationwide for a flat monthly fee. Users download the MoviePass app to use the subscription-based service.
Through innovative technology, Spikes wants to share his passion for watching movies on the big screen with consumers. His love of films is evident through his past ventures as founder of the Urbanworld Film Festival in 1996, SVP of Marketing at October Films from 1996-97 and VP of Marketing at Miramax from 1994-96.
“We say, ‘MoviePass is made for movie lovers, by movie lovers.’ I’ve always been a film enthusiast, and there is only one way to see great cinema,” Spikes, co-founder & CEO of MoviePass, said in an interview with The Innovation Movement. “Today there are so many at-home entertainment options for consumers, we knew we needed something really disruptive to transform the movie-going experience – and MoviePass was it.”
Still, while breaking into the technology industry MoviePass has had its fair share of setbacks and ups and downs. However, Spikes says he used the feedback to fine-tune the workings of this company.
“In earlier iterations of MoviePass, we did get some industry push-back and had to take a hard look at the service and have many conversations with studios, key stakeholders and theaters alike. As a result, we came back this past October with a new business model that is much more seamless,” he added.
In a new development AMC Theaters is partnering with MoviePass
This year marks the beginning of a new chapter. In a huge development, AMC Theaters, the second largest U.S. cinema chain, announced in December 2014 that they are partnering with MoviePass for a pilot in January 2015. A premium version of MoviePass, which includes 3D movies, is being rolled out in Boston and Denver. Monthly subscription packages cost $45 and $35. More cities will be added later depending on the success of the pilot.
Since the launch, Spikes says his company has gained revenue through not only subscription sales, but also from advertising, data, and cell groups. MoviePass’s technology lets businesses reach buyers based on the films they watch.
Statistics from MoviePass’s nine-month beta trial also showed an increase in movie attendance by 64 percent and concession sales by 123 percent, according to Spikes. Indeed, a growing concern for the movie industry has the steady decline of theater attendance.
“We found that because they weren’t coming on out-of pocket cash each visit, they tended to almost always purchase concessions. So we feel it’s a win-win for everyone,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
When watching MoviePass grow as a business, Spikes expresses how he is excited to see his company bring modernizations to the industry.
“Nothing beats the feeling of creating life in the entrepreneurial space. To take a project from concept to birth is amazing. I’m passionate about driving change and innovation in an industry that is dear to my heart, Spikes told The Innovation Movement. “Having that personal connection, as an innovator trying to disrupt an industry, or an entrepreneur out on a new venture, adds extra enthusiasm and drives determination,” he added.
Image: Stacy Spikes: Photo by Kevin Trageser
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