As founding CEO of MoviePass, Stacy Spikes has already changed the way we think about paying for movie tickets. Now he’s ruining a new approach — The people who watch 15 to 20 minutes of ads by giving a free ticket .
Spikes noted that when it comes to watching movies outside the theater, there will be three basic business models — subscription and ad-supported. pay-per-view,Movie Pass brought a subscription approach into theaters, but Spikes (who stepped down as Movie Pass CEO in 2016) told me he kept roaming, “Well, why can’t you have an ad-supported version that will allow you to go to movies for free?”
It’s tough to imagine digital advertising being pleasing enough to really pay for that ticket, but Spikes insisted, “You’re paying your way. This is not going to be a loss-leader model. It’s an ad-revenue based business.”
To make that work, he said the new service, called Pre-Show, is bringing a lots of innovations on the table. First, there’s apparent recognition technology that assure you’re actually present there and watching the add.
Spikes authenticate this feature for me last week, showing me how his face unlocked the Pre-Show app. Once he’d chosen the film he wanted to watch, he was shown with a package of video adds that were individually selected to run with that movie — and at any time he went away from the screen or moved too far away from his phone, the ads will stop playing. (supposedly the sensitivity can be dished up or down depending on subscribers feedback.)
Spikes also said the ads should tie with the film in some way, whether that’s thematically, or by highlighting products that are also featured in the movie. And further engage with the advertiser they’ll always include an opportunity to.
So although 15 to 20 minutes might seems a long time to watch adds, it should be just a random collection of promotional videos more interesting for the viewer than. And for the advertisers who are already paying for product placement in a film, this could be a way to bolster their message with consumers who are actually watching the movie. (Spikes also compared this to the marketing packages that usually play before showtime in theaters — hence the company name.)
By watching one of these 15 to 20-minute packages,at the theater using a virtual credit card provided by Pre-Show you should earn enough points to purchase a ticket . Technically, those points can be used to buy any movie ticket, but Spikes said you won’t be able to earn more than two tickets at a time, “so people don’t accumulation.”
As for whether Pre-Show is competing with his old company, Spikes said, “I don’t think they are competitive in any way. they’re different animals,If you compare a subscription platform to an ad platform to a pay-per-view platform, .”
with a select group of users the plan is about to start testing the service in the next three to six months, and to find those users, Pre-Show is launching a Kick starter campaign today. Pledge levels range from $15 to $60, with the amount you pay determining how early you get access, and how many friend invites you receive.
Spikes said he’s less interested in raising money (which is why the campaign’s official goal is only $10,000) and more in attracting film lovers who want to try the app.
Spikes stated “It’s a way to have innovation happen more essentially, versus if you just open it up for the general public,” .
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