MoviePass is notorious for being cheap, but what kind of price are you really paying when you use it?
Recently MoviePass gave a series of misleading statements, after, at the Entertainment Finance Forum in early March, CEO Mitch Lowe stated during his presentation, Data is the New Oil: How will MoviePass Monetize It? that they tracked customers, using what they did before and after to mine for data.
“we know all about you... We get an enormous amount of information. We watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards.”
He then released a cover-up statement, saying it was the company’s idea for the future, according to Tech Crunch.
MoviePass subsequently dropped its price after what they were doing was released taking annual subscription cost down to $89.95. That's $6.95 per month, plus a one-time processing fee of $6.55. Usually, it's $9.95 a month.
If you're are a big movie goer though, it is tempting. At least one who doesn't think this kind of data hasn't been taking advantage of already.
Since you can go to movie theater locations that accept the pass, which is a lot of places, the service has upwards of 2 million subscribers. The deal has previously appeared and is for a “limited time.”
"We keep track of your interactions with us and collect information related to your use of our service, including but not limited to your online activity, title selections and ratings, payment history and correspondence as well as Internet protocol addresses, device types, operating system and related activity.
We use this information for such purposes as providing recommendations on movies we think will be enjoyable, personalizing the service to better reflect particular interests, helping us quickly and efficiently respond to inquiries and requests and otherwise enhancing or administering our service offering for our customers.
We also provide analysis of our Users in the aggregate to prospective partners, advertisers and other third parties. We may also disclose and otherwise use, on an anonymous basis, movie ratings, consumption habits, commentary, reviews and other non-personal information about customers."
Although many would hope this is a limited agreement, it basically tells you they are receiving location data, for example, they might want to know where you went to have a drink or that you went to pizza hut beforehand so they can use that data to advertise to people like you. Although some have the opinion companies can't do this without repercussion, they can and they will, according to Tech Crunch.
Although MoviePass' scandal of location tracking hasn't landed them in the trouble that, say, Facebook is in, it is certainly very similar predicament when users learned of their overhauled data collection, which was done in a covert way getting consumers to agree to terms, but not really blanketly stating what those terms were.
Data mining whether it is MoviePass, FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram or Youtube can only be changed if people are aware of the policies they are agreeing to - which can mean time and effort on their part.
There is also the solution where people can pay the extra chunk of money to keep their privacy.
We'll have to see in the future if MoviePass continues this policy.
Would you pay extra for services if your privacy was guaranteed? Or is it worth the risk since so many paid places have given up more information than this data mining has?