Sinemia has signed up 10 movie-theater chains for custom subscription programs, as its war with MoviePass moves into the enterprise phase
- Movie-ticket subscription company Sinemia, a competitor to MoviePass, gave an update on its venture that lets movie theaters craft their own subscription services using Sinemia's tech, called Sinemia Enterprise.
- The company told Business Insider that currently more than 10 theater chains use Sinemia Enterprise, including Studio Movie Grill and National Amusements.
- Sinemia CEO Rifat Oguz said the reaction has been so positive worldwide that he's launched teams in Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia to support the demand.
The movie-ticket subscription war has shifted from trying to attract theatergoers to trying to attract exhibitors - and currently Sinemia has an advantage.In October 2018, movie-ticket subscription company Sinemia announced it would begin to offer its tech to movie theaters so they could craft their own personalized subscription plans through its software platform, Sinemia Enterprise. And that endeavor seems to be bearing fruit.
The company revealed to Business Insider that Sinemia Enterprise is now being used by more than 10 theater chains.
Through Sinemia Enterprise, a theater can customize its own subscription plan within two weeks, offering any ticket or pricing plan by using Sinemia's tech, which is plugged directly into the theater's point-of-sale system. It can be used through iOS and Android apps, and can support any kind of plan (including couples or family) or showing (standard 2D, 3D, IMAX, or 4DX). And the individual theater operates through its own personalized dashboard.
"Once we launched Sinemia Enterprise we had demand coming from all over the world," Sinemia founder and CEO Rifat Oguz told Business Insider. "We are getting calls about it every day."
Oguz said theater chains Studio Movie Grill and National Amusements had used Sinemia Enterprise to launch subscription programs. But Oguz told Business Insider that Sinemia Enterprise is also global. The venture has grown so quickly that he's formed teams in Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia to support the demand, he said.
"It's a new world for them," Oguz said of movie theaters who now have subscription services thanks to Sinemia Enterprise. "If you try to build one on your own now you will be playing catch up."That's a big reason why Studio Movie Grill signed up.
The chain, which is known for its in-theater dining experience, launched SMG Access Subscription in the beginning of the year through Sinemia Enterprise because it wanted to get its own program to market as soon as possible.
"It was on our roadmap for a couple of years to lean into our own version of subscription," Studio Movie Grill senior director of marketing Brandon Jones told Business Insider.
Jones said when he and his team met Sinemia in October, it became apparent that their plans could be fast-tracked.
"We had an opportunity to have subscription in the marketplace that was SMG branded in a short period of time and I didn't want to be sitting in our office six months from now and not have a subscription program," Jones said.
SMG Access Subscription has been slowly rolling out as an invite-only offer. Offers range from $18.99 to see four movies per month any day of the week, to $14.99 per month to see four movies between Monday and Thursday.
"We are constantly changing the platform for the needs of the movie theaters," Oguz said.
Oguz said all the deals it has in place with theaters are multi-year and it will be making money from either end-to-end software platform fees based on a chain's monthly subscription volume or theaters paying for specific modules, like fraud control, business intelligence, or marketing.
And Sinemia is no longer the only game in town. Last month, MoviePass announced that it would also begin to sell its tech to theaters. But Oguz said he and his team had not crossed paths with their rival when talking to theaters.
Regardless, Jones does credit MoviePass for the subscription craze that's hit the movie-theater business.
"They developed a marketplace," he said. "Subscription in movie theaters is here to stay, so we want to make sure we are offering it to our guests."
The move to work better with exhibitors comes at a time when theatergoers have voiced their displeasure with how the companies have treated them. Both Sinemia and MoviePass have been hit with lawsuits alleging they are engaged in "bait and switch" schemes after changing pricing plans and adding fees to try and better their margins. Starting a business-to-business service is a way to control costs without angering subscribers.