Mitch Lowe, the CEO of MoviePass, announced the coming of surge pricing last month. Today, Engadget reported that these new costs are officially going into effect. For those who are unfamiliar with how surge pricing works, what this basically means is users will now face higher prices depending on their showtime and feature choices, since certain time slots and popular movie titles are more sought after. MoviePass is referring to their newly added fees as Peak Pricing.
All new MoviePass subscribers, as well as anyone currently with a monthly plan, will be subject to this Peak Pricing roll out over the course of the next few weeks. Those already holding annual subscriptions will not be affected until their yearly renewal. The company has also announced that within the coming months, they will roll out a Peak Pass; this particular pass will allow users to enjoy one Peak Pricing per month. Another attempt to avoid dealing with surge pricing, which may or may not be pragmatic, depending on how the fees actually end up playing out, could be to choose times or titles that are untouched by the fees
The MoviePass website boasts the benefits of their new Peak Pricing, claiming flexibility and a desire to please users.
“The new peak pricing feature is aimed at providing additional flexibility for us and our users around popular movies and times for which there is limited inventory. We are building peak pricing to be flexible and will be able to tweak it as needed based on the community’s response.”
How the new pricing will look on the MoviePass app sounds fairly straight forward and easily depicted for all card holders. When a film is in high demand or being shown at a peak hour, the additional fees will be displayed via a red lightening icon over the showtime. A tiny gray lightening bolt will pop up over any featured movies and showtimes that are gaining in popularity and might soon have the additional fees. Essentially, red means extra and gray serves as a warning sign to rush out and catch the flick before more cost are incurred. Tapping the Peak Pricing showtime will give customers the exact amount of the fees. It is important to note that surge pricing means these fees will also vary, depending on the movie, time, and level of popularity.
If you stick with the high demand movie or showtime, whatever credit or debit card a user has on file with MoviePass will be charged the added fees upon ticket purchase. After selecting any movie or time with the Peak Pricing, users will then be shown a confirmation screen, displaying a list of all charges subject to one final approval before their purchase is a go.