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58% of MoviePass users canceled their subscriptions last year: Report

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MoviePassMoviePass.Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
  • Finance assistance app Trim said that, after analyzing 400 million transactions of its users in 2018, 58% of its users with MoviePass subscribers canceled the service last year.
  • MoviePass users have complained about changes that have made the service less attractive, as the company has tried to get its cash burn under control.

 

2018 was not a good year for MoviePass.

After gaining millions of new users to the service starting in August 2017, when the company dropped its monthly price to $9.95 a month to see one movie per day, the movie-ticket subscription startup went into a tailspin in 2018. 2018 saw issues with the app, bad customer service, the company temporarily running out of cash, and finally — just under a year from when it announced the $9.95 plan — a big change to its plan so subscribers could only see up to three movies a month.

And data suggests that roller coaster was simply too much for many users. According to an estimate from financial assistance app Trim, which analysed 400 million transactions of its users over the last year, 58% of MoviePass subscribers canceled the service in 2018.

According to the Trim data, the highest rate of cancellations happened in June and July. Looking back, those were the months when some major things happened that weakened the MoviePass brand. 

Read more: 8 Hollywood players the industry is buzzing about as Oscar night approaches — from actors to screenwriters

AMC launched its own monthly subscription plan, MoviePass introduced surge pricing for titles in high demand, the company temporarily ran out of money and had to borrow $5 million to get the service back up, and by the end of July, it stopped offering many big budget studio movies on the service.

Things haven’t gotten any better in 2019 for the company. 

MoviePass’ parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, is in danger of being delisted from the Nasdaq (it’s currently trading at around $0.02).

There have been problems within MoviePass as well. Business Insider reported recently that there had been employee accusations of inappropriate behavior and that a product manager had sent a company-wide resignation letter describing the work environment as “dangerous and toxic.”  

Business Insider contacted MoviePass for comment but did not get a response. 

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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