Depending on the genre of books and movies you enjoy, you may or may not have already heard about Passionflix. In a nutshell, imagine Netflix + Lifetime for Women, although I don’t think that description really does it justice. Why, and what do I think about Passionflix? Read on to find out!
When I first heard about Passionflix, I was intrigued but a little bit skeptical. The idea sounded freakin’ fantastic in theory…a streaming-movie channel developed by women, targeted at women. Not only would it offer existing romantic films on demand, it would feature original content sourced from authors who write both sweet and spicy…the first three original films (at the time of this writing) are based on novels from Alessandra Torre, Sylvia Day and Jill Shalvis. You can check out this TechCrunch article which will give you more detail about the start-up, the success, and the women behind it.
Again, I thought this was absolutely brilliant. The proof that it was a market waiting to be thoroughly explored is the enormous reaction to the 50 Shades film series. It was amusing to me that reviewers, pundits and the public at large seemed so astonished that after also buying millions of copies of the book, women turned out in droves to support a film that had (for better or worse) gained a such a responsive fanbase. I’m not going to get into the whole “mommy-p0rn” debate here, except to say that it’s insulting to laugh at the notion that women enjoy movies with a touch (or ton) of spice. That is a long-ass blog post that I’ll save for another day and another topic.
Anyway, even those of the 50 Shades fanbase who didn’t want to talk on camera about their love for the infamous films spoke with perhaps the most powerful voices of all: their hard-earned dollars. People bought the books, they went to the theaters, they rented the movies on demand. Millions and millions of dollars were spent by women asserting that YES they did like their movies with a touch (or ton) of sexy, and they weren’t embarassed or ashamed to say or be seen doing so!
Although I won’t say that the 50 Shades phenomenon led directly to the creation of Passionflix, I do think that it’s useful to point at why the former is directly relevant to the success of the latter. After I considered it for a bit, I signed up for a subscription, primarily because I think that if done with an equal balance of business smarts and answering the existing demand, this is an absolutely brilliant idea. The response to 50 Shades, regardless of my personal opinion about the books or movies, bears this out. The continued enormous success of women’s fiction (and let’s not pretend this is anything new, AT ALL) just further points to the fact that women are biologically hardwired differently from men, and this can extend right down the line to their entertainment choices. Right now, the vast majority of Hollywood is controlled by men, and therefore the products of Hollywood reflect that (see: ratio of female nudity vs. male nudity, etc. again another topic for another day). I’m not saying that women can’t or don’t enoy raunchy stuff any more than men can’t or won’t enjoy Passionflix. In general, though, consider the source material of these original movies that the company is producing: popular women’s romance/woman-centric novels.
So why in the world was I skeptical for even a second? To be blunt: funding. I want Passionflix to succeed, but I personally am not in the position of financially ensuring that it will. Comparing Netflix’s budget to Passionflix’s is like comparing watermelons to raisins. Can Passionflix support licensing existing movies that people want to see in addition to producing existing content from the ground up? Despite reviewing movies, I know nothing about the financial side of creating them, except that it’s EXPENSIVE.
Although we’re still just a few months into Passionflix’s launch, so far the outlook is good. There are (at the time of this writing) three original movies available, along with a curated selection of existing films. You can browse based on their BON (Barometer of Naughtiness) or simply pick a movie you’ve never seen. They can range from the genuinely sweet to sexiness-ahoy. Right now the selection is a bit limited, but considering how far along they are since the launch in September 2017, I foresee it only getting better.
As I mentioned before, I have signed up for a subscription. I opted for the Founding Member option (which offers some interesting perks) but there are options for both monthly and package deals. You also have the ability to “gift” a subscription to a friend (or yourself), which I thought was a nice (and clever) touch. They also advertise that you can cancel at any time, a bit of transparency that speaks to their integrity (especially considering how hard it is to unsubscribe from other services’ monthly offerings). I can personally vouch for the responsiveness and effectiveness of their support team, which emailed me promptly when I had a billing concern.
In all fairness, there are a few growing pains (again AT THE TIME OF THIS WRITING)…specifically regarding international viewing, the viewing experience (e.g. stop-and-resume viewing) and device compatibility. I’ve been given no reason to doubt that they’re bumping these issues to the top of their to-do list, and they’ll hopefully be addressed as Passionflix continues to grow.
Passionflix has an active following on social media, including a Facebook member-run book club that will read and “discuss” the books adapted for film in both live and virtual settings. If you sign up for Passionflix, I strongly encourage you to check all of these out.
This is not a sponsored post. I’m very happy to give Passionflix an honest two thumbs up and am looking forward to what they’re able to do as they grow. You can look forward to my film reviews of their original content, starting with Alessandra Torre’s Hollywood Dirt in the following days, and updates as they continue to happen. (Total sidenote perk: if you’re only interested in viewing/buying the original content, they’re available on iTunes and Amazon! Win!) This is one film project I am enthusiastically behind, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.
Have you subscribed to Passionflix? Curious about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!