MoviePass has hired tech entrepreneur Khalid Itum as vice-president of business development and former Preferred Content vice president Zac Bright as director of business development.
Itum spent three years advising the North American cinema ticket subscription service on business strategy and capital formation, before joining in a full-time capacity. He will be responsible for driving revenue through partnerships and investor communities.
Bright will oversee cross-functional partnerships for MoviePass across the industry with filmmakers, content owners, distributors and film festivals.
“Both Itum and Bright bring years of experience and vast knowledge spanning the media, film and technology sectors,” said MoviePass chief executive Mitch Lowe.
“They both possess a proven track record putting deals together that will not only help MoviePass accelerate its industry footprint, but will also benefit the overall entertainment ecosystem.
“As we continue to build out our company leadership, we are demonstrating our commitment to strengthening our relationships with the major studios, Hollywood’s independent distributors and the filmmaker community at large.”
In September, MoviePass passed 400,000 subscribers in the US after introducing its controversial $9.95-a-month cinema pass. That was a rise of 1,900 per cent in the 30 days following the launch of its low-cost subscription plan after it was bought by big data and tech firm Helios and Matheson.
Lowe explained to the Deadline website that MoviePass has been surging “at a higher rate than normal” among those moviegoers who take in arthouse titles. What studios and distributors have to gain by partnering with MoviePass is raising the profile of their titles on its mobile app, Lowe said.
“What we want to show exhibitors is that by giving a discount on tickets, they will end up way ahead. On a 25 per cent discount, they’d make 170 per cent more margin dollars than they do today,” said Lowe.