Disclaimer: Not a product reviewer or endorser. Using publically available news to highlight product management principles.

In the era of “If you build it, they will come,” the focus on market strategy is often deferred. The pricing component of the market strategy is the focus of this post. Consumers are aware of the razor model. You price the razor at a low price and make money selling the blades. There is also the pricing strategy of cost plus overhead. There are many valid pricing strategies, and it can change over time. However, unclear or continuous pricing changes can have a negative impact on your customer base.

Let’s learn from Moviepass, a movie theater subscription service. This company advertises any movie, anytime, anywhere. In a matter of months, the company has announced price increases, plan changes, new services (iHeartRadio), and movie restrictions. UGH. Confused moviegoers are everywhere.

Jan: $9.95 1 film/day
Feb: $7.95 1 film/day if you pay annually
March: $6.95 1 film/day if you pay annually
April: 3 movies per month with 3 months of iHeartRadio All Access
May: $9.95 1 film/day but no repeats
June: $2 to $6 extra during peak times

I am sure I missed some plan changes. Is this a well thought out pricing strategy? Theaters are now introducing their own movie subscription plans. For example, AMC Stubs A-list offers a simple movie plan PLUS a discount on my popcorn and ICEE.

Product Managers: The most crucial Moviepass lesson is that a good idea finds competition fast-BE PREPARED with a cohesive strategy. Monthly fluctuation in pricing strategy is not a good look. What’s next Moviepass?