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Theaters Would be a Blockbuster for Amazon’s Loyalty Program

Clarus Commerce CEO Tom Caporaso theorizes the possible strategies behind Amazon’s rumored acquisition of Landmark Theatres.

(As originally published on PaymentsSource on September 12th, 2018.)

Amazon clearly has plans to merge the digital and physical worlds when it comes to retail.

After its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods, it continues to work hard on the integration with Whole Foods to seamlessly combine the digital and physical experience.

Could the movie industry be the next big opportunity for Amazon to further that?

Amazon is reportedly in the running to acquire Landmark Theatres, which operates 53 theaters in 27 cities. Amazon certainly has an efficient means to distribute its films, making an acquisition a powerful combination. Given the recent problems connected to MoviePass, it could also be a good time for Amazon to consider launching a similar subscription movie service.

By bringing Prime benefits to the movie industry, through discounts or a MoviePass/subscription-based model, Amazon could entice even more users to its 100-million-strong premium loyalty program.

Consider that Prime had about 28 million members in 2014, and you can see the astonishing growth in the past four years. So many people enjoy the value in Prime and are willing to pay for those benefits.

And it’s always about Prime member acquisition with Amazon. Just as Whole Foods customers are now able to enjoy Prime benefits, Amazon would be able to make Prime Landmark’s loyalty program.

Amazon is trying to dive deeper into original content to compete with Netflix. Owning a theater chain could augment that effort. Maybe Amazon would add movie perks for Prime members like heavily discounted tickets and concessions.

Some experts are even theorizing that the physical real estate could be used for other purposes. Small retail stores could offer Prime pickup or returns.

One thing Amazon has always been great at is identifying customer pain points and addressing them in a mutually beneficial way. This could happen if Amazon decides to launch a movie subscription service.

If Amazon buys Landmark Theatres, and leverages its Prime program moving forward, this could present a major disruption to the movie industry. If it works, Amazon will continue to make bigger waves in the physical world.

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