Passionflix is tapping into the billion-dollar romance novel industry to capture the attention and loyalty of the genre’s passionate fan-base. In the process, the service hopes to become a top SVOD service and establish a major new movie studio.
Chapter 1: About PassionFlix (0:35)
At DEW 2018 in Los Angeles, I talked with Tosca Musk, the founder, and CEO of PassionFlix. She says the SVOD service, which launched in September of 2017, aims to serve the romance novel reader community.
The company licenses content from the movie industry. It also takes popular novels and turns them into movies. The company released three movies in 2017. It will release its next one in March and deliver six more in 2018 including a new video series.
Chapter 2: On pricing for the service (1:20)
The cost of the service is $5.99 per month, with special discounts to $3.99. Ms. Musk says the company selected this pricing because the average romance novel cost $5.99 and pre-release prices for novels is around $3.99.
Chapter 3: Finding the audience (2:45)
One of the biggest challenges for a new SVOD service is to find its audience. Ms. Musk has a unique approach to this. Since the movies she makes are based on novels by prominent romance novelists, she leverages the authors to help promote the films. The authors have very large, passionate fan bases, and many of the novels sell a million or more copies.
The company also relies heavily on social media to promote the service. PassionFlix has already gained 70,000 followers on Instagram and Facebook. It has also created a private area called the Founding Members Lounge. Here, strong supporters of the service, which number in the several thousand, can get an exclusive experience unavailable to anyone else. For example, they can get sneak peaks at upcoming movies and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage.
Chapter 4: The PassionFlix user experience (3:30)
Ms. Tosca says the objective is to make the service a little bit spicy for a woman. She also wants to make it easy for users to browse the movies based on the feelings they will get from them. Normal movie classifications aren’t necessarily helpful here. For example, Ms. Musk says that Sweet November and Notting Hill are both romance movies but deliver very different feelings. The objective is to allow the subscribers to be able to differentiate easily between them.
To that end, the service sorts movies by feelings. For example, the service has feeling categories such as Tissues and Ice Cream. There is also a barometer of naughtiness. In this section, a tame movie is given the designation Oh So Vanilla, and a raunchy movie classified as Not Safe for Work.
Ms. Musk aims to make the service a major player in the OTT space. She also wants to establish PassionFlix as a major movie studio.