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Ex-Netflix Exec Mitch Lowe Takes Over as MoviePass CEO

Mitch Lowe, an early exec at Netflix and Redbox, has taken the reins of MoviePass as CEO in a bid to help expand the fledgling company’s Netflix-style movie-theater subscription service.

Lowe, who’s also joining the company board, has been an adviser to the company for the past two years and recently made an investment in New York-based MoviePass. He takes over for Stacy Spikes, MoviePass’ founding CEO, who will continue as co-chairman. Hamet Watt, the company’s founding chairman, will continue as a co-chairman of the board.

“If I’ve learned anything at Netflix and Redbox, being first to market really matters,” Lowe said in a statement. “MoviePass’ patented technology will allow millions of consumers to go to the movies more than ever and is proven to substantially increase attendance for the theaters. This is great news for all — exhibitors, studios and consumers. I am excited to be joining Hamet and Stacy on this team.”

MoviePass, founded in 2011, movie-theater subscription service, Movie Pass is accepted at more than 34,000 screens, accounting for 90% of U.S. theaters. But its service, which the company says starts at $30 per month to see an unlimited number of movies (with certain restrictions), hasn’t caught fire the way either Netflix or Redbox did.

Lowe was part of the founding team at Netflix, serving as VP of business development and strategic alliances from 1998 to 2003, as was the former president and COO of Redbox. At Netflix, Lowe led the early studio negotiations and many of the subscriber acquisition programs, such as the integration into Best Buy’s point-of-sale systems.

“Mitch has been a great friend to MoviePass and has been instrumental to its progress over the past few years,” Spikes said in a statement. “He has the skills and experience to accelerate the growth of the company, and his extensive background in subscription services and disruptive entertainment distribution businesses are key as we forge the next chapter of product innovation for MoviePass.”

According to MoviePass, the company is positioned to help theater chains address their “millennial problem” of younger audiences going to the movies less frequently. The company says 75% of its subscribers are millennials, and recent research from MoviePass found that the subscription service more than doubles theater and that subscribers spend more than 120% more on concessions.

MoviePass investors, in addition to Lowe, include True Ventures, AOL Ventures, NALA Investments, WME and former Facebook chief privacy officer Chris Kelly. The company has raised $3.7 million to date, according to CrunchBase.

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