Entertainment

New app will track user’s eyes to make sure they’re watching ads

MoviePass, a service which used to provide unlimited movie tickets for a monthly fee, has returned after shutting down due to mismanagement two years ago. The service now provides a multi-tiered subscription system which also allows users to earn credits by watching ads while having their eyeballs tracked.

The company will relaunch this summer after going out of business in 2019, when it was acquired by Helios and Matheson Analytics. Stacy Spikes, who co-founded the company in 2011, recently bought the failed service back and hopes to re-generate it.

In an opening statement at the launch ceremony, Spikes addressed the past failures of the company, saying: “A lot of people lost money, a lot of people lost trust,” adding that he was among those hurt, as he was pushed out of his own company.

“We’re looking at this from another point of view,” Spikes said of the company’s relaunch before revealing the details of the service’s new multi-tiered subscription system and the new ‘pre-show’ feature, which allows MoviePass customers to earn credits in exchange for watching ads on their phones. To make sure the ads are actually being watched, the app will use an eyeball-tracking system.

“What it does is it basically creates a transaction between you and the brand,” the CEO said. “Your phone, your device uses your own facial detection. It doesn’t go to the cloud, nobody goes through anything other than you and your information is yours. And you opt in to do it on your own.”

Spikes likened the feature to an extension of product placement in movies, saying: “I love product placement in movies, I love the cars, I love the watches, I love the clothes. I’m that person that sometimes has a notepad and I’m writing down, is that Hugo Boss?”

MoviePass initially offered customers unlimited movie tickets for just $10 a month, which turned out to be a failed strategy, which drew in over 3 million people and eventually lost the company a lot of money and led to its bankruptcy.  The company lost $100M in a single quarter.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: THE VERGE

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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