FNE AV Innovation: MUBI GO, MUBI’s Cinema-going Initiative and App


    “Our goal is to build audiences for great cinema; with MUBI GO we have created a new experience for our subscribers to enjoy films on the big screen.” - Efe Cakarel, Founder and CEO

    In Focus: MUBI GO, MUBI’s cinema-going initiative and app

    Over the years, MUBI, the curated streaming service, has been championing hidden gems, forgotten classics and talented filmmakers. The goal has always been to be the online destination for film lovers across the globe to discover, watch and discuss the best of cinema. In recent years we have also become a theatrical distributor releasing films in cinemas before or simultaneously with the platform, bridging the offline and online in a new way.

    Moving into the theatrical space has enabled us to create new partnerships with exhibitors and distributors across the industry sector, bringing exciting titles such as SUSPIRIA, UNDER THE SILVER LAKE, BORDER and BACURAU on screens of all sizes. We have experimented with various windows and release models – most recently the free virtual preview of Pablo Larraín’s dazzling dance drama EMA showing for free on 1 May across 60 countries.

    With MUBI GO, which launched in the UK in September 2018, we have pursued this further and have brought our online product into the offline world. MUBI GO also became available to MUBI users in Ireland and India in 2019. The mission of this cinema-going initiative is to extend the curatorial approach of MUBI to the theatrical experience in a new and innovative way. With the support of Creative Europe MEDIA, we were able to experiment with this new initiative and promote MUBI GO as a new way to discover incredible cinema.

    What is MUBI GO?

    MUBI GO offers subscribers a complimentary cinema ticket, each week for the ‘Film of the Week’ – a film selected by MUBI’s curators.

    MUBI GO is a separate app, which MUBI designed and developed in-house. The strategy, design, technology, and the onboarding of partners have all been part of multiple months of work. Through this infrastructure our curators can extend our curatorial approach to the theatrical experience.


    Since launching in the UK we have seen mostly young audiences using the app (80% under 44, 55% under 34). Redemptions of cinema tickets within the app were polled mostly during weekdays, with 30% during the day, supporting cinemas in quieter times. In addition, MUBI GO users would often bring someone with them. As such, we were able to welcome new subscribers, with the rich and diverse selection of titles. Highlights of the Film of the Week have been: THE FAVOURITE, DIEGO MARADONA, ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD... and the restoration of LA DOLCE VITA. We are aiming to show 50% European and British films and 25% female directed films, promoting a diverse film culture.

    Further data points are below.


    Average 2019 cinema visits per year: MUBI GO users



    MUBI GO users are discovering new venues

    — 63.6% visit the same cinema every time they use the app

     34.4% visit a different one


    To support the roll-out of the initiative across the United Kingdom, we have worked with Europa Cinemas and organisations such as UKCA, ICO and Film London to bring more cinemas on board. So far 155 cinemas have joined the network and we are looking forward to welcoming more sites in the future.

    Since then we have launched in Ireland and India, and are planning to expand to the US and Germany next. This has brought multiple new challenges to tackle. The way films are released in the US and India is very different to the UK. We are currently working on the app’s second version to serve the US theatrical model better. Moreover, each arthouse theatre, indie cinema and part-time venue needs to be onboarded separately, demonstrating the attention and time resources behind the network, as well as knowledge of each local market and film industry sector. We have expanded our team to continue those conversations on an ongoing basis.

    The expansion of MUBI GO to more territories will contribute to the product as a growth initiative and we believe it will further cement collaboration across the industry. We look forward to reaching more young audiences and film lovers around the world this year and beyond.

    The promotion of MUBI GO is part of ‘MUBI, Delivering European Cinema Globally’, supported under MEDIA - Creative Europe’s programme ‘Promotion of European Audiovisual Works’.

    N.B. Due to COVID-19, MUBI GO is currently paused until further notice. We will resume the service once it is safe to do so.

    About the Author: Efe Cakarel

    Efe CakarelEfe founded MUBI, a film streaming service, after he discovered that he couldn’t watch ‘In the Mood for Love’ in a café in Tokyo. Previously, Efe was with Goldman Sachs in London and New York, where he worked on IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity investments. He earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, and MBA from Stanford.

    Efe ranked 3rd in the 1994 European Math Championship in Geneva, Switzerland. He currently serves on the Future Contemporaries Board of Serpentine Galleries in London. If he were to give you directions, you’d never get lost, and you’d arrive at least 5 minutes early.

    About MUBI

    MUBI is a curated streaming service. An ever-changing collection of hand-picked films. From new directors to award-winners. From everywhere on earth. Beautiful, interesting, incredible films — a new one, every single day. Always chosen by us. MUBI is available to watch in 190 countries, and the films we pick are guided by local cultures and cinema. We are the world’s biggest community of film-lovers, with over 9 million members around the globe. You can stream or download all our films, anytime. On any screen or device, anywhere. And you’ll never see a single ad on MUBI. Ever.

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