Disney's Movies Anywhere launches with five of six studios on board

Mindy Sparks
October 12, 2017

Movie lovers now have a new home for their favorite digital movies as Movies Anywhere launches in the US today with an unprecedented five Hollywood studios and four major digital retailers on board. Because this is a cross-platform solution, movies previously purchased on the iTunes Store will now be available to users on Android devices, and iOS users will be able to watch Disney movies they've purchased from the Google Play Store. Isn't this an item about the new "Disney Movies Anywhere?". It's bringing it together all in one place. Other retailers and studios may join in the future. However, this is not a merger, as both Disney Movies Anywhere and UltraViolet will remain separate - though still connected - services. The Movies Anywhere app is clearly meant to be the place that consumers go to first on their devices in order to get maximum selection - but if people are continually dropping out into another app to make purchase, you end up with the same kind of fragmented experience consumers have already grown exhausted of. Consumers can immediately stream or download any film from their Movies Anywhere library. These are the movies you'll receive for free when you link up. "There's that sort of aha moment that happens when all of the titles that you bought from one of our five studios on any of our four digital retailers all come together".

In 2014, the Disney Movies Anywhere service opened support to iTunes and Google Play, specifically for Disney movies to be accessed virtually anywhere.

Execution can be a different matter, however, and that's where an initiative like Movies Anywhere will really end up charming consumers, or turning into another option that couldn't quite make it.

Viewers can start streaming a movie on one device and finish it on another. Movies Anywhere doesn't solve every problem, and not every studio is on board, but it does bring us closer than ever to platform agnosticism. For a limited time, new users signing up with the first digital retailers can get digital copies of Ghostbusters (2016) and Ice Age, and with the second digital retail signup, they will get Big Hero 6, Jason Bourne and The Lego Movie. That service flailed due to a poor customer experience and lack of adoption on the part of big digital retailers like Apple. The tagline is "Your movies together at last". All it takes it downloading the Movies Anywhere app or logging into the website. The service is not yet on game consoles. Hollywood has not always been quick to understand what consumers actually want or need when it comes to digital movie purchases, but it looks like Movies Anywhere is the best attempt yet. A press release announcing the launch said the goal is a "simple, seamless digital entertainment experience across platforms".

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