MoviePass competitor Sinemia is shutting down just as Avengers: Endgame hits theaters

While MoviePass continues to experiment with ways to avoid bankruptcy, the movie subscription service that competes with Sinemia puts it ahead of what is shaping up to be one of the greatest theatrical events of all time.

Just when Avengers: Endgame began breaking box office records on its first day, Sinemia says it is suspending its operations in the US. UU Due to the increasing pressure of subscriptions of theater chains and legal actions against the Company for its pricing tactics. The news confirms a report by Bloomberg earlier this week that said Sinemia was considering closing its consumer business to focus more on creating membership programs for existing theater chains.

"Today, with a big heart, we are announcing that Sinemia is closing its doors and ending operations in the United States immediately," the company said in a statement that appears when it visits its website. "While we are proud to have created the best market service, our efforts to cover the cost of unexpected legal proceedings and raise the funds necessary to continue operations have not been sufficient. "The competition in the US market and the basic economy of what it costs to deliver the comprehensive experience of Sinemia lead us ultimately to the decision to suspend our US operations."

The sinemia was initially launched in 2014 in Turkey, but the service barely gained strength until the long-term competitor MoviePass made the radical decision to drastically lower its prices in August 2017. Sinemia quickly followed suit with subscription plans too good to be true that would basically allow you to watch free movies, as long as you pay in advance and continue with the reservation of tickets through the platform. Sinemia resisted going the unlimited route, but essentially sold discounted movie tickets as part of a monthly subscription. (The company finally tried to offer several unlimited plans in the last six months, including one that was only a prepaid card worth $ 100 for which Sinemia charged only $ 70).

As in MoviePass, the business model of Sinemia was not the most secretive. The whole idea of ​​a theater subscription service was based on three risky bets. The first is that some people would pay for the service and never use it, which would help pay those who did, something like a gym membership. It turned out that it was not like that because it turns out that watching a movie is easier and more enjoyable than strenuous physical activity. (MoviePass has only been afloat for a long time because it has made its service prohibitively difficult to use, blocking access to certain theaters and movies with arcane logic and imposing a series of Kafkaes restrictions on its subscribers).

The second was that applying pressure For the theaters, by devaluing the cost of a movie ticket, these services could be inserted in the existing Hollywood chain as a kind of intermediary, either to obtain a cut in concessions sales or to be part of the producer and marketing ecosystem. AMC, the leading chain of theaters in the US UU., He was not too kind to a company that stands between the customer and the final product. So he launched his own Stubs A-List subscription that is far superior to anything on the market for only $ 20 a month.

The final bet was a data game, with the idea that MoviePass and other similar services could collect data about your habits, what movies you liked and what you liked to do before and after the movie. In that way, a theater subscription platform could provide that information to marketing professionals or possibly partner with restaurants, bars and other places to link promotions. That also failed, as MoviePass was involved in a series of privacy controversies related to the way it compiled the data and what it planned to do with them.

Having said that, MoviePass is the only service that made any foray into any of those strategies and, nevertheless, still clings to life. Sinemia, on the other hand, always played a secondary role in MoviePass, and as a result, its service began to decrease dramatically in quality and consistency over the past year. The company generated wave after wave of erroneous headlines in recent months related to the random cancellation of subscriptions and tariffs at the center of the class action lawsuit that Sinemia mentions in its final note.

Now, it seems to be the end of the road to Sinemia. The company says it is suspending its operations in the US. But it is not clear what is happening with their offers in Australia, Canada, Turkey and the United Kingdom. It is also not clear what is happening with current subscribers, if they will receive refunds and what that process will be like.

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