Subscription, subscription, subscription!

Have you noticed how everything nowadays is a subscription service?

When I first wrote that line it had digital media instead of the word ‘everything’ but the more I thought about it, the more ‘everything’ seemed appropriate.

Think about it. Netflix or hulu plus or amazon prime offer tv and film. Spotify or Deezer or Music Unlimited offer music. PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live or EA Access offers games. But it goes deeper than that; you essentially pay a subscription service for your gym and you probably have one set up as a direct debit for your phone, your internet, your car insurance.

What you might not know is that there is one for your local cinema as well. Cineworld are the only cinema that currently offers an ‘all you can eat’ movie service in the UK- at least that I know of – and it provides phenomenal value for money. It certainly isnt a subscrip-off… Moving on. Cheap puns aside, thats the only thing you are looking for in a subscription service; value for money and that’s what the Unlimited scheme offers.

So let’s do the numbers. This year I have seen 51 films at the cinema. If we take the average price of a film at the cinema to be about £9 then that all adds up to be £459 that I should have spent. In actuality I’ve only spent £196.80 and there are still 3 months of films left!

OK. So I hear you saying that there simply isn’t 51 films that are worth seeing in a year? Fair point. But how do you know if you haven’t seen them?

Let’s look at it this way. That’s only 2 films a month to get your money back and unless you have no interest in films (why are you reading my blog then?!) I’m sure you could find 2 films a month that you would like to watch if not love to watch?

I thought as much. Now let me ask you another question. How many times have you been bored enough to watch the X – Factor or I dunno Holiday Caravans Under the Hammer or Finland’s Best Pet Costumes or something equally uninteresting ? Exactly. You may as well go see a new film, chances are you may like it and it’s effectively free. You might even discover a love for a genre you never knew you liked.

Now let’s be clear I have no affiliation with Cineworld and no sense of loyalty past the fact that the Unlimited scheme is so damn good – in fact this blog probably wouldn’t exist without it. Cineworld aren’t without faults. Like all cinemas the variety of snacks is pretty much limited to popcorn or chocolate, their booking system seems clunky at times (especially for Unlimited members oddly enough) and the new allocated seating hasn’t bedded in yet – “Where would you like to sit”… err I don’t know, how about in the right screen and not on someone’s lap? Fancy giving me some clues?

The service itself does have some downfalls. It’s not on-demand, there is no back catalogue available, any future price increases will feel painful and you have to leave the safety of your own home – sorry!!

That said the benefits are clear; watch any of the latest films as many times as you like on the big screen. You also get money off food and drink.There is a small uplift on 3D films but even those are free if you have been a member for over a year.

Obviously Cineworld won’t complain about you throwing regular money at them but you shouldn’t either because  as far as subscription services go you could do a lot worse than the Unlimited scheme. Whether you decide to sign up or not: go, run, be free, enjoy some moving pictures and keep the film industry alive.

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