MoviePass is set to return this summer after being swooped up and resuscitated by its original co-founder Stacy Spikes. During a launch presentation on Thursday, Spikes took the stage in New York to hype the relaunch of his embattled movie ticket subscription service. There was plenty of fanfare and, somewhat bizarrely, references to Web3 technology. But one thing that Spikes didn’t mention on stage was MoviePass’ metaverse aims.
“Some of the players in the metaverse right now are a little game-y, when I feel like you want to just watch the movie,” Spikes tells The Verge. “You don’t need fake popcorn; you don’t need tomatoes; you don’t need other things that are in there. And that’s where we’re looking at it, and it’s something we’re taking seriously that we feel we will have a presence in.”
During the Thursday launch event, Spikes pitched a product that felt a little less like a potential bomb than the beloved but disastrous dirt-cheap, unlimited viewing iteration of the service. And he’s ready to tap just about every avenue, including digital currency and the metaverse, to bring the memesub back to life. The problem is, it’s unclear whether consumers — or heck, even theaters — are prepared for MoviePass 2.0. A moviegoing subscription relying on VR and decentralized technologies gives the same energy as AMC getting into crypto. Fine, but why?
“What’s great about going to the movie is it’s uninterrupted. You can’t stop it, you need to pay attention, and if not, you’re going to waste your money,” Spikes says. “And what we like about that is, it’s event viewing. And I think that event viewing can happen in the metaverse.”
“It’s a bit of a concept shift — it’s less about the price point and more creating flexibility”
Spikes didn’t share specifics about the company’s metaverse ambitions. He mentioned concerts and live events as an area of interest — “We look at ourselves as a live event company,” Spikes tells me — but it sounds like longer-term thinking for now.
Despite all the buzzwords, Spikes’ ultimate goal for MoviePass hasn’t…