Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@ddmcd.com) consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management. Follow him on Google+. He publishes on CTOvision.com and aNewDomain and volunteers with the Alexandria Film Festival. He is also on Linkedin. To subscribe to emailed updates about additions to this web site click here.

MoviePass Survey Fail

MoviePass Survey Fail

By Dennis D. McDonald

Early in my career I designed and manage statistical surveys for a living. Ever since then I’ve been sensitive to how survey questions are worded.

It was not uncommon back then to test out several versions of a written or spoken question before actually fielding the survey. The last thing we wanted was for a client to spend thousands of dollars only to find that a key question was misunderstood or misleading.

When I received an emailed survey recently from MoviePass, I saw the following question. I immediately suspected that any kind of numerical analysis of this particular survey question's responses would be questionable:

survey.PNG

The problem: the question does not distinguish between movies seen in theaters and all other movies seen through all other sources such as streaming services, DVD, or Blu-ray. If this point is clarified anywhere in the survey I could not find it.

It’s too bad. I like MoviePass, even though its days may be numbered as it burns through cash. Recent emails explaining how MoviePass is now adding surcharges for popular movies could be step in the right direction from the perspective of the company's cash flow, but no matter how many times I read the emails I can't figure out how the surge pricing is being calculated or how much it will add to my monthly fee. 

Since the regularity of the monthly subscription price was one of the main reasons my wife and I subscribed, this uncertainty about actual pricing is disappointing. Analyzing data from the above survey question, if it really is as confusing as I suspect, won't help MoviePass.

Copyright (c) 2018 by Dennis D. McDonald

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