Guest Post: Fixed fee – Unlimited movies. The future of movies?

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today we’ve got a guest post from one of my favorite bloggers, Nostra from My Film Views. It’s a fascinating topic surely us moviegoers and film fans have an opinion about, so read on …

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The internet has changed our lives, not only in regards to being able to connect with people instantly or being able to shop online, but it has also changed the world around us. Some physical stores have seen the number of customers drop and were forced to close down. Two big examples are music stores and video rental places. It is possible to get your music and movie fixes without leaving your home and even on the move it is easy to get a couple of songs on the go through your phone. It has forced record labels into changing their model and the pricing for songs has changed. Although the movie industry was also forced to change I started wondering about pricing. In the past I already wrote about the death of DVD and Blu-Ray where I mentioned fixed fee services. For movies the obvious service to mention is of course Netflix where you can watch as many movies and TV shows you want for a price which normally might buy you one “new release” on DVD/Blu Ray.
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Some cinema chains have been paying attention as well. The biggest one in the Netherlands, Pathé, has an online offering of movies (still with individually priced movies though) but also has been doing a lot to make sure people keep visiting the cinema by organising special nights (for example one for women where they will have a small market where clothes and jewelry are sold) to make it more of an experience. It is not the only thing they do however. A couple of years ago they started offering Unlimited passes. Basically they work the same as Netflix does. They cost around 20 euros a month (depending which option you take) and what that allows you to do is visit the cinema as much as you’d like. So you could just go to the cinema in the morning and stay there all day seeing the movies you like. There is no limit and the cards even allow you to buy concessions for reduced prices (10 to 25% off the normal prices). It’s a great deal for both moviegoer, who can watch all the movies he/she wants and for the cinema as well as they have a fixed income and know when people come they will probably still buy some food or drinks.
The consumer wants to be able to choose what they watch. This is already possible with on demand services and there are also initiatives to introduce that for the cinema. I bet there are a ton of older movies you wish you could see at the cinema. “We Want Cinema” is a dutch platform which does just that. On their website they have a big selection of titles to choose from. You select one of the participating cinemas you would like to see the movie and then you will have to make sure enough other people also want to see that movie. If enough tickets are sold the movie will be programmed and you can enjoy the film on the big screen again.
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I’d like to imagine about a possible future of movies. What if you would combine these things where a cinema chain or something like Netflix would have a subscription form where you have an unlimited selection of films on demand and could also head to the cinema with that same subscription? It would be an awesome offer for movie lovers (for about 30 euros/40 dollar per month). The movie companies would be able to negotiate with the provider of the service about the pricing. Since both the online service and the cinema would be run by the same company this would also open up the possibility of simultaneous releases of new movies in the cinema and on demand. It would not matter where people watched their movies. An added extra for the movie companies would be that pirating of movies could decrease because people would be able to watch the latest movies immediately.

Add to that a special section in the online service to pick movies to see at the cinema, which makes promoting events like that and it easily something to get excited about. Unlimited movies for a fixed fee has already been partly-realised, but the future could be even brighter.

Well movie lovers, what do you think of this idea?