Watch ads, get free movie tickets

LOS ANGELES — Stacy Spikes is at it again. 

The co-founder of MoviePass, which tried to sell monthly movie viewing for a subscription, has a new idea. What if we agreed to watch 15 to 20 minutes worth of ads in an app, in exchange for two free movie tickets?  

That’s the concept for PreShow, which looks to replicate the movie theater pre-show collection of ads, with a reward for viewers. 

PreShow is a concept he’s selling on Kickstarter. The campaign, which has so far raised over $25,000, runs through the end of April, and he’ll begin testing the concept with his backers in the summer. Beyond the early backers, most folks won’t s  ee PreShow until 2020 sometime, but he insists it’s real and will happen. 

“We’re all used to seeing the coming attractions in movie theaters,” said Spikes, who visited USA TODAY to appear on the Talking Tech podcast. “All we’ve done is move that to the device.”

He’ll show you a bunch of ads, and once you complete watching, you’ll gain enough points for two free movie tickets.

Spikes came up with the idea for MoviePass back in 2011 as a way to help movie fans see more movies. But the service has been beset by consumer complaints, an investigation by the New York attorney general into whether MoviePass misled investors and a rapidly shifting pricing strategy. While it was initially unlimited, it shifted to two to three movies per month, and now is back to the original unlimited plan, for $9.99 monthly. 

It’s back: MoviePass restores its $9.95 unlimited subscription plan for a limited time

A new hope? MoviePass hopes new business model is the ticket following series of woes

Spikes declines to speak about MoviePass’s rough patches but says the company has new owners now, and “I believe in the original concept.”

Listen to the complete Talking Tech interview here. 

Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. 

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