MoviePass Acquires Moviefone In Move To Lure Subscribers & Increase Ad Revenue


Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. , the majority owner of MoviePass, has snapped up Moviefone from Verizon’s digital arm Oath in a mixture of undisclosed cash and unregistered equity.

Moviefone, who arguably started the whole notion of advance movie ticket sales with their 777-film phone lines back in the 1990s, is currently an entertainment news portal that also provides showtime information, connecting users to individual chain’s ticket sales pages. Moviefone was started in 1989 by Russ Leatherman (the voice of Mr. Moviefone on their phone lines), Andrew Jarecki, Pat Cardamone, and Adam Slutsky. AOL bought Moviefone in 1999 for $388M and during the millennium Moviefone would link to then later Fandango to provide consumers with advance tickets. In 2014, Moviefone became a movie info shell as we currently know it. AOL Ventures, which was the venture capital arm of AOL (now, Oath), was an early investor in MoviePass back in 2011.

With its purchase of Moviefone, MoviePass gains access to 6 million monthly unique visitors, building out its content marketing strategy and ad revenue platform.  Oath will continue to sell Moviefone’s digital ad inventory following the acquisition.

“This natural alignment between MoviePass and Moviefone will help us grow our subscriber base significantly and expand our marketing and advertising platform for our studio and brand partners,” said Mitch Lowe, CEO of MoviePass. “Moviefone has been a go-to resource for entertainment enthusiasts for years, and we’re excited to bolster its presence and bring this iconic platform into the entertainment ecosystem of the future.”

“This investment in digital content expands MoviePass’s reach further into multiple Hollywood touchpoints,” said Khalid Itum, VP, Business Development at MoviePass. “We believe the acquisition will allow us to connect studios and brands with potential new subscribers, capture their attention, and convert them into paying subscribers. We believe Moviefone will also allow us to provide relevant and appealing content to moviegoers while simultaneously increasing the value of the Moviefone brand.”

“HMNY’s vision is to have MoviePass support the entire movie theater industry ecosystem–from distribution to exhibition and now, content,” said HMNY’s Chairman and CEO, Ted Farnsworth. “Above all, we believe the Moviefone acquisition will serve as another valuable source of revenue for HMNY and MoviePass,” concluded Mr. Farnsworth.


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