Moviepass, the now-defunct service that was supposed to allow users to watch movies inexpensively, has pivoted ever-so-slightly into the business of being an Orwellian advertisement machine.
The service is “returning as an app that will track users’ eyes when they watch adverts”, according to an alarming new report from The Independent. In exchange for your computer-verified undivided attention, the app will let users have access to movies.
Moviepass now will use facial recognition and “eye-tracking technology” to “ensure that viewers’ eyes are looking at promoted content in exchange for access to films”.
Moviepass co-founder Stacy Spikes said: “It’s a way to close that loop and make it far more efficient of a system. I want to be able to see it for free. Advertisers have put a pre-show together not unlike what you’d normally see when you go to a movie theater but this is customized for you.”
“As I’m looking at it, it’s playing back. But if I stop and I’m not paying attention to it, it actually pauses the content,” she continued. “We had an early version of this where you know what happened. People put the phone down and left and didn’t pay any attention to it. Right now 70 percent of video advertising is unseen. This is a way that advertisers get the impact they’re looking for but you’re also getting the impact yourself.”
People will also be able to purchase products through the app in the future, Spikes said.
Her company’s first foray into inexpensive movies – before it went full Matrix – ended in 2019 when the economics of buying one movie ticket per day for $10/month didn’t pan out.
The next iteration of the service will be “powered by web3 technology,” Spikes said.
So now when you’re watching the next iteration of the Terminator series at home, your attention will be held captive by Skynet both on and off the screen…