Corporate News

(New York)

An early founder of Netflix is now the CEO of MoviePass, a startup trying to rethink the movie space. The company has just launched a high profile effort to upend the traditional pricing model for movie tickets. It wants to let viewers see up to one movie per day at almost any theater (including new releases) for just $9.95 per month. The company says it will pay theaters back for the price difference in tickets. The idea is to get more people going to theaters and then monetize the user data they collect on the attendees. Profiting from such a model is a long way off, and may face the additional hurdle that AMC, the largest theater chain in the US, wants to block the company out of its theaters because it fears it will undermine pricing.

FINSUM: We think AMC is being too close minded about this. Movie tickets have gotten massively more expensive in recent years and if tickets were cut, they would get much higher volumes and more concession (food) sales, and could benefit from monetizing increased data for studios.

(New York)

There is an interesting trend going on behind the scenes of the current retail apocalypse. Despite store closures and bankruptcies happening at an accelerated—almost break-neck—pace, a lot of the dying firms are quickly being reconfigured and reopened. That is because a specialist class of private investors has emerged that specializes in buying recently defunct store chains and converting them into online-only models. The firms usually buy the companies in bankruptcy auctions and then retrofit their warehouses to be ecommerce distribution centers. The key is to do it quickly before the company’s core customers lose interest.

FINSUM: Some big names are going through this process right now—like American Apparel. Interesting to see how the sector is evolving.

(San Francisco)

Apple’s monumental earnings announcement from earlier this week continues to ripple through markets. Within CEO Tim Cook’s often evasive comments following the earnings release, there were a couple important hints. One is that Apple may be working on a new line of home robots to help consumers with household cleaning and chores. The other is that Cook hinted that Apple may follow through on President Trump’s announcement that the company will open US manufacturing facilities. While his comments were unclear, he did make indications.

FINSUM: A big new line of products (aside from the massive chance in self-driving cars), would be very interesting from Apple. On the US manufacturing side, we think opening some US facilities would be great for the company’s image.

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