MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe explained during the Entertainment Finance Expo on March 2 that the company collects a lot of data on its subscribers, according to a report from Media Play News.
"We get an enormous amount of information," he said. "Since we mail you the card, we know your home address, of course, we know the makeup of that household, the kids, the age groups, the income. It's all based on where you live. It's not that we ask that. You can extrapolate that. Then because you are being tracked in your GPS by the phone, our patent basically turns on and off our payment system by hooking that card to the device ID on your phone, so we watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards, and so we know the movies you watch. We know all about you. We don't sell that data. What we do is we use that data to market film."
In his speech, Lowe said he hopes MoviePass will reach 5 million subscribers by the end of the year.
Of course, the company has faced pressure from theaters, including AMC theaters, who were one of the first theaters to criticize the service.
Lowe said he has "active dialog" with movie theater chains like AMC Theaters to make sure they can stay in business over the long-term.
For now, Lowe said the company relies on data collection in order to grow. His speech, after all, was called "Data is the New Oil: How Will MoviePass Monetize It?"
"We know all about you," he said, according to the report. "We watch how you drive from home to the movies," he said. "We watch where you go afterwards."
Lowe said the bigger goal for MoviePass is to collect enough data where the app can help users plan out an entire evening.
MoviePass further explained these remarks in a statement to Mashable.
"At MoviePass our vision is to build a complete night out at the movies," the statement said. "We are exploring utilizing location-based marketing as a way to help enhance the overall experience by creating more opportunities for our subscribers to enjoy all the various elements of a good movie night. We will not be selling the data that we gather. Rather, we will use it to better inform how to market potential customer benefits, including discounts on transportation, coupons for nearby restaurants, and other similar opportunities. Our larger goal is to deliver a complete moviegoing experience at a price anyone can afford and everyone can enjoy."
Indeed, MoviePass has received its funding from Helios and Matheson Analytics, which focuses on data collection, according to the Deseret News.
"Our goal has always been to drive more people to the movies while reinvigorating the entire ecosystem that includes theaters, studios and distributors. Our relationship with Helios makes that possible," he said in a press release.