Here is a story to throw tin foil hat Twitter into a frenzy. During a keynote speech, Movie Pass (which is an awesome app) CEO Mitch Lowe gave people a reason to pause a little when they reserve their next movie night using their service when he bragged about how it tracks your movements before and after you leave the theater.
During his speech titled conveniently called, “Data is the New Oil: How will MoviePass Monetize It?” Lowe revealed the company collects a ridiculous amount of data on customers who use their service. According to MediaPlayNews Lowe told the crowd ” “We get an enormous amount of information, We watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards.”
Now why in the world would you need to know that? Well, Lowe explains “MoviePass would direct subscribers to places to have dinner before or after a screening, for instance, getting a cut from vendors.” If that is indeed the case then that makes sense, Movie Pass has to find a way to help sustain their business model that has helped lured 1.5 million-plus users to its service. It would seem they want to find a way to start some sort of Groupon situation to build around your trip to the movies.
Lowe also added in an interview with Gizmodo: “The second thing we’re going to do with data… is we think going to the movies is a centerpiece for a lot of other transactions. Y’know, going to dinner, getting drinks, taking Uber, and we’re going to be working with local merchants around the theaters, and around the malls to drive more people to those businesses. And take a share to drive transactions.”
In a recent update, Movie Pass reached out to The Verge and assured them the company has no plans to sell location data to third parties. Instead, they aim to “enhance the overall experience by creating more opportunities” and want all customers to “enjoy all the various elements of a good movie night.”
That doesn’t mean that they Movie Pass won’t look to find ways to somehow benefit from the data by building relationships with other companies around it. We just hope they are very transparent about their actions and keep their customers in the loop.
Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MoviePass