Since acquiring MoviePass last year, Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc HMNY has taken a lot of heat from critics. The MoviePass subscriber count continues to climb, however, and shareholders are hoping the numbers will eventually speak for themselves.
Last week, Helios reported MoviePass has reached 1.5 million subscribers. That number is particularly impressive considering the movie service had just 20,000 subscribers six months ago.
MoviePass allows subscribers to see up to one movie per day in participating theaters for a monthly subscription fee of $9.99.
While the skyrocketing subscriber numbers seem to suggest the service is a huge hit, critics point out that the MoviePass monthly subscription cost is roughly the price of just a single movie ticket. Helios is likely losing a lot of money on its subscription service, but the company is hoping to create long-term value by generating unique data sets from its customers.
“If you get a trailer right now for Spiderman on Facebook, Facebook can’t tell if you ever actually go to the movie. We can,” Helios CEO Ted Farnsworth recently said. Farnsworth and Helios investors are betting that’s exactly the type of unique data that Hollywood studios would pay big bucks for. In that sense, the hidden value in MoviePass may be its advertising data rather than its subscription sales. But the first step in gathering that data is to add as many subscribers as possible.
In November, Maxim Group analyst Brian Kinstlinger predicted MoviePass would reach 1 million subscribers by the end of 2017, a mark the company appears to have significantly surpassed given last week’s announcement of 1.5 million subscribers.
Maxim has a Buy rating and $25 price target for Helios stock.
Helios shares are up more than 170 percent since August 2017.
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