MoviePass – the company that allows subscribers to see movies for free – announced on Thursday it is buying Moviefone – movie showtime and entertainment news portal. It’s a match that both companies say is made in cinema heaven.
MoviePass parent Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. paid Verizon Communications Inc. $1 million cash and another $8 million in stock for Moviefone, according to Variety. AOL, now part of Verizon’s Oath, reportedly paid $388 million for Moviefone in 1999.
The new pairing aims to overhaul moviegoers’ habits, while expanding MoviePass’ service. MoviePass allows users to watch one film a day theaters for less than $10 a month. With its new purchase, the company will now gain access to Moviefone’s 6 million monthly unique visitors, according to Deadline.
Moviefone, founded in 1989, was immortalized in the Seinfeld episode “The Pool Guy,” in which Cosmo Kramer pretends to be an announcer.
“This natural alignment between MoviePass and Moviefone will help us grow our subscriber base significantly and expand our marketing and advertising platform for our studio and brand partners,” said Mitch Lowe, CEO of MoviePass. “Moviefone has been a go-to resource for entertainment enthusiasts for years, and we’re excited to bolster its presence and bring this iconic platform into the entertainment ecosystem of the future,” Lowe added.
The investment will also expand MoviePass’s reach in Hollywood, according Khalid Itum, VP Business Development at MoviePass, allowing the company to “connect studios and brands with potential new subscribers.”
“We believe Moviefone will also allow us to provide relevant and appealing content to moviegoers while simultaneously increasing the value of the Moviefone brand,” Itum added.