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Atom Tickets Will Build Subscription Services for Theaters

MoviePass and Sinemia may be floundering, but Atom Tickets still sees opportunity in the movie theater subscription space.

However, the ticketing service is going about things very differently from those companies. Atom is launching a new offering that will enable exhibitors to launch their own customized subscription services while relying on Atom’s infrastructure and technology. It hasn’t signed up any theaters yet, but is starting to have conversations with exhibitors. Atom plans to pitch the service, christened Atom Movie Access, at the exhibition industry trade show, CinemaCon, which takes place next week in Las Vegas.

MoviePass’s low-price plans, which initially allowed users to see a movie a day for less than $10 a month, proved to be disastrous. The company has lost hundreds of millions of dollars and its parent company’s stock price is in free fall. But it did successfully introduce the idea of subscriptions to U.S. moviegoers. AMC and Cinemark have offered their own alternatives to MoviePass and other exhibitors are expected to follow suit.

“Our goal is not to be MoviePass,” said Atom Tickets Chairman Matthew Bakal in an interview with Variety. “Our goal is to be a great partner that provides technology that enables exhibitors to create their own subscription programs.”

Atom did not share pricing, but Bakal said that the upfront fee will be “no big cost” and suggested that the company will get a cut of subscription revenues.

The subscription services will be integrated into Atom’s app, allowing users to buy tickets through their plans, as well as reserve seating. On the back-end, Atom will also manage payment process, customer service support, fraud detection and anti-abuse measures for exhibitors.

“There are a lot of smaller, regional circuits that would love to have subscription plans, but don’t have the technology to build it themselves,” said Bakal. “That’s where we come in.”

Atom Tickets was founded in 2014 with the goal of making movie-going more social. Customers can use the company’s app to purchase tickets and to invite friends on their social networks to join them at specified showtimes.

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