Disney's received a huge boost to Movies Anywhere today, with studios Fox, Sony, Universal and Warner Bros. coming aboard the digital movie download service in time for it's U.S. launch. While Movies Anywhere is owned by Disney, representatives from each of the participating studios will make up an advisory committee that will work directly with the studio. Paramount and Lionsgate have yet to join, though Lionsgate is expected to transition in over the next few months.
Here's how Movies Anywhere works and what you'll need to know:
● After setting up a Movies Anywhere account through their free app or website, members can access eligible movies by connecting those accounts with their Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu accounts.
● Once the libraries are synchronized, members can watch downloaded movies through their Amazon Fire devices, Android devices and TVs, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and Apple iOS devices.
● At the time of launch, Movies Anywhere's library will feature more than 7,300 digital movie titles, along with previews and film extras from the studios behind such hits as Beauty and the Beast, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Fate of the Furious and War for the Planet of the Apes.
● For a limited time, new members signing up with the first digital retailers will get digital copies of Ghostbusters (2016) and Ice Age; and those signing up during the second digital retail signup will receive Big Hero 6, Jason Bourne and The Lego Movie.
If Movies Anywhere sounds familiar, it should: UltraViolet was a similar initiative launched by the studios (except for Disney) in 2011. Almost six years later, UltraViolet is facing the unrealized promise of simple, seamless synchronization and that download-to-own is facing stiff competition from subscription streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Disney is hoping to balance the playing field more by offering subscribers to Movies Anywhere what's promised in the service's press release: "simple, seamless digital entertainment experience across platforms."
For Movies Anywhere GM Karin Gilford, it's about showing consumers how this service can help streamline their lives more:
"Movies Anywhere is a massive step forward for the consumer digital media experience, bringing the incredible film libraries of five studios together in a virtual one-stop movie-watching shop. Consumers never have to remember where they purchased a film or which device they can watch it on because all of their eligible movies will be centralized within their Movies Anywhere library and available across platforms."