Revamped 'Movies Anywhere' service adds four studios, makes cross-platform viewing easy

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited October 2017
Disney on Wednesday launched Movies Anywhere, an all-in-one movie viewing service that lets users watch purchased content from five major Hollywood studios on a variety of platforms, from iTunes to Google Play.




Movies Anywhere seeks to solve the problem of fragmented movie libraries, a common ailment for movie lovers living in a digital world. Users often purchase films from multiple retailers, whether it be iTunes or Amazon, leaving those titles siloed in their respective repositories. For films from at least five Hollywood studios, however, that changes today.

As part of a deal brokered by Disney, Movies Anywhere acts as a multi-platform content locker for movies from Disney, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Using the Movies Anywhere app or a corresponding website, customers who purchase movies or redeem digital downloads from participating online retailers Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu can view content on any of those same platforms or a standalone app. Users simply need to log in and connect their Movies Anywhere account with their digital retailer account.

As for redemptions, the service incorporates support for digital copy codes that often come with Blu-ray and DVD discs.

The system works much like Disney Movies Anywhere, a separate service for Disney properties, and supports library syncing, meaning customers can watch owned content on a wide variety of hardware including Apple devices like Apple TV, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, Amazon Fire products, Android devices and Roku streamers. Additional hardware compatibility is in the works, as is integration with other retailers.

"Movies Anywhere means that 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 through the Movies Anywhere app and website and also available at their connected digital retailers," said Karin Gilford, general manager at Movies Anywhere.

For now, the service boasts a library of more than 7,300 movies, as well as previews and extras. More content is expected for inclusion, as Disney and its partners are looking to bring other studios into the fold.

To sweeten the pot for new users, Movies Anywhere is running a limited-time offer for five free movies. Users who activate and connect their account with Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes or Vudu are eligible to receive digital redemption codes for "Ghostbusters" (2016) and "Ice Age." Linking that same account with a second participating online retailer nabs "Big Hero 6," "Jason Bourne" and "The LEGO Movie."

The Movies Anywhere app is not yet live in the App Store, but is expected to debut in soon as a free download. Users can activate a Movies Anywhere account through the service's dedicated website.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    A bunch of companies piggy backing off Apple’s inventions and hard work. This might hurt Apple in the future as there will be less reason to own an Apple TV or use iTunes. 
  • Reply 2 of 32
    chasmchasm Posts: 373member
    I'm not sure I see how this hurts Apple, Apple TV, or iTunes. In the real world, people buy stuff from different places, especially in the digital marketplaces. Every iBooks lover I know also has the Kindle app so they can buy books from Amazon when they're on sale or exclusive to Amazon for some reason. Movie studios are the worst about this, and this solution (which includes iTunes, and it wouldn't have unless Apple was okay with it) bridges that divide for the benefit of consumers. Yes, I suppose there's a bit less of a "lock in" factor with Apple TV, but for many people the fact that movies (in particular) are so restricted on Apple TV (or Amazon's FireTV, or Google's stick thing, et al) was something of a turn-off, not a selling point. This solution lets you stay Apple-centric if you want, but still grab bargains or exclusives from elsewhere, and more importantly lets you play it on various systems so you don't need to burn a DVD (not that you can anyway!). Maybe you're spotting something here that I'm not, but this seems like a win for real-world consumers to me.
    lolliverjahblade
  • Reply 3 of 32
    Link in last sentence is broken (404 error).
  • Reply 4 of 32
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    chasm said:
    I'm not sure I see how this hurts Apple, Apple TV, or iTunes. In the real world, people buy stuff from different places, especially in the digital marketplaces. Every iBooks lover I know also has the Kindle app so they can buy books from Amazon when they're on sale or exclusive to Amazon for some reason. Movie studios are the worst about this, and this solution (which includes iTunes, and it wouldn't have unless Apple was okay with it) bridges that divide for the benefit of consumers. Yes, I suppose there's a bit less of a "lock in" factor with Apple TV, but for many people the fact that movies (in particular) are so restricted on Apple TV (or Amazon's FireTV, or Google's stick thing, et al) was something of a turn-off, not a selling point. This solution lets you stay Apple-centric if you want, but still grab bargains or exclusives from elsewhere, and more importantly lets you play it on various systems so you don't need to burn a DVD (not that you can anyway!). Maybe you're spotting something here that I'm not, but this seems like a win for real-world consumers to me.
    If you’re a teen I would understand your lack of understanding but Apple worked hard to make digital media a real market with iTunes. Copycats jumped on the opportunity for a quick buck or to break even further fragmenting the market.

    This move is similar to how morons can now say “androids are just as good as iPhone”, “windows and Macs do the same thing” and soon “Apple Pay isn’t special I can do it on my knockoff phone”.

    If someone wants to buy a sh*t Fire Stick
    let them and they will be locked into sh*t products but soon you’ll have these people claim their sh** products are the same as Apple TV and even disrespect Apple when it was Apple who paved the way and worked their asses off to make streaming and digital contend a reality.

    what next? iTunes on android? Wait this is actually happening...
  • Reply 5 of 32
    This is great. This is basically Disney Movies Anywhere on steroids. This actually makes the Vudu app on my Apple TV useless now. Was so excited when it was added because it gave me access to my UV movies on my big screen. Now with this (if it works just like DMA) those versions will show up right in my iTunes library now. Nice perk with the free digital copies for linking libraries too. 
    jahblade
  • Reply 6 of 32
    My VUDU account isn’t linking. Anyone get theirs to sync?
  • Reply 7 of 32
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,531member
    chasm said:
    I'm not sure I see how this hurts Apple, Apple TV, or iTunes. In the real world, people buy stuff from different places, especially in the digital marketplaces. Every iBooks lover I know also has the Kindle app so they can buy books from Amazon when they're on sale or exclusive to Amazon for some reason. .
    And to use the Overdrive library app.
    chasm
  • Reply 8 of 32
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    supadav03 said:
    This is great. This is basically Disney Movies Anywhere on steroids. This actually makes the Vudu app on my Apple TV useless now. Was so excited when it was added because it gave me access to my UV movies on my big screen. Now with this (if it works just like DMA) those versions will show up right in my iTunes library now. Nice perk with the free digital copies for linking libraries too. 
    I get the feeling there will be an app that links all your movies not necessarily on iTunes. Get what I’m saying? Just speculating here and I wouldn’t doubt it.

    also don’t be surprised if this app/website becomes a reality and you can shop directly in it. Locking out Apple*, Amazon, Wal Mart etc.

    Apple laid the groundwork now anyone can f**k them over.

    *Yes Apple usually gets a cut on App sales and subscriptions but there’s contracts and ways around this(Uber). Safari sales don’t have to pay Apple either. 
  • Reply 9 of 32
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 17,852member
    cali said:
    chasm said:
    I'm not sure I see how this hurts Apple, Apple TV, or iTunes. In the real world, people buy stuff from different places, especially in the digital marketplaces. Every iBooks lover I know also has the Kindle app so they can buy books from Amazon when they're on sale or exclusive to Amazon for some reason. Movie studios are the worst about this, and this solution (which includes iTunes, and it wouldn't have unless Apple was okay with it) bridges that divide for the benefit of consumers. Yes, I suppose there's a bit less of a "lock in" factor with Apple TV, but for many people the fact that movies (in particular) are so restricted on Apple TV (or Amazon's FireTV, or Google's stick thing, et al) was something of a turn-off, not a selling point. This solution lets you stay Apple-centric if you want, but still grab bargains or exclusives from elsewhere, and more importantly lets you play it on various systems so you don't need to burn a DVD (not that you can anyway!). Maybe you're spotting something here that I'm not, but this seems like a win for real-world consumers to me.
    If you’re a teen I would understand your lack of understanding but Apple worked hard to make digital media a real market with iTunes. Copycats jumped on the opportunity for a quick buck or to break even further fragmenting the market.

    This move is similar to how morons can now say “androids are just as good as iPhone”, “windows and Macs do the same thing” and soon “Apple Pay isn’t special I can do it on my knockoff phone”.

    If someone wants to buy a sh*t Fire Stick
    let them and they will be locked into sh*t products but soon you’ll have these people claim their sh** products are the same as Apple TV and even disrespect Apple when it was Apple who paved the way and worked their asses off to make streaming and digital contend a reality.

    what next? iTunes on android? Wait this is actually happening...
    Disney isn't stealing your content from Apple. They are PARTNERED with Apple, something Mr Cook chose to do. If Apple considered it a bad deal do you think they would have agreed to it? 
  • Reply 10 of 32
    cali said:
    A bunch of companies piggy backing off Apple’s inventions and hard work. This might hurt Apple in the future as there will be less reason to own an Apple TV or use iTunes. 
    Apple invented digital media?
  • Reply 11 of 32
    I read elsewhere that Apple was an investor in this partnership. True? Anyone? Anyone?
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 12 of 32
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 17,852member
    I read elsewhere that Apple was an investor in this partnership. Anyone? Anyone?
    I see Google promoting it, even putting an article up on their main blog page. I don't see mentioned anywhere whether Apple/Google/Amazon put any money up too as investors and not just partners. Where did you read it? . 
  • Reply 13 of 32
    zrman said:
    My VUDU account isn’t linking. Anyone get theirs to sync?
    No, my VUDU isn’t  linking either :-/ Disney movies anywhere & iTunes linked no problem. 
  • Reply 14 of 32
    cali said:
    A bunch of companies piggy backing off Apple’s inventions and hard work. This might hurt Apple in the future as there will be less reason to own an Apple TV or use iTunes. 
    This is hilarious. First off, Apple did not invent retail digital media downloads. iTunes was not the first of its sort or anywhere close. They weren't even the first to do the $0.99 cents per song/$.99 per album thing, nor were they the first to do the 30 second preview thing. I suppose next you are going to resort to "Apple did it the best" or "Apple's became the dominant/most popular so others don't count"? Yeah, that is typical. Apple gets to appropriate and repurpose everyone else's ideas - and often has to get sued in order to force them to pay for it - and that is OK, but everyone should be hands off on every product that Apple produces, even when Apple themselves got the idea elsewhere? To put it another way ... even if Apple had the iTunes idea first - and I repeat they did not - other companies would have had as much right to copy it as Apple did.

    And another issue ... people don't need another reason to abandon iTunes or Apple TV. There are plenty of reasons already. 
    1. Apple TV: the cheapest model costs $149. You can actually buy a name brand 32' HDTV for less. A Roku and a Fire TV stick - which offers 80% of the same features as the Fire TV, and when you consider features that most people will actually use (no, most people don't want to play mobile games on their TV, which by the way requires controllers that cost $40 apiece more increasing the cost to like $229) costs $30. And with a Roku you can access all your content no matter where you bought or rented it, not so with Apple TV.

    2. iTunes: it was already outdated when it was originally launched because it is a standalone application. There were ALREADY web-browser based services that allowed you to buy and download media back in the 1990s. Now, everybody has a browser-based service - or at least a browser based companion to the standalone PC or mobile app - but Apple. YouTube/Google Play. Amazon. Disney. Ultraviolet/Vudu. Redbox. Target. And so on. Apple is the only one that requires you to access a massive bloated buggy slow application to search for and rent/buy movies, music, TV shows and books. What is worse, the competition has offered browser-based options for over ten years. I remember being able to download music from Walmart's website - the predecessor to what is now Vudu - way back in like 2005. 

    3. Oh yeah, content rented through iTunes can only be downloaded on the device that it was originally rented on. No one else has this restriction. Literally no one! At first, Apple tried to claim that it was a restriction imposed on them by the studios to prevent piracy. Gee, why didn't the big, bad content owners do the same to literally everybody else? Now don't get me wrong, that likely was the original reason why this limitation was imposed. The only reason why it still lingers is because Apple's backend e-commerce server application software is many years behind the competition. Which - again - is the same reason why they also do not have browser-based stores for not only iTunes but the App Store. 

    Apple didn't fall behind here because of "thieving" competitors or cheap/ignorant consumers. Apple fell behind because their product was - and still is - inferior. Apple has the best smartphone, the best tablet, the best PC and the best smartwatch. But they do not have the best multimedia solution and haven't in years.
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 15 of 32
    peteopeteo Posts: 300member
    So I basically sign in with my itunes and amazon account and can watch all the movies I purchased on both platforms with this one app? there are not other fees?

    Awesome!! 

    Looking at the app you can even save the movies for off line viewing. WOot!
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 16 of 32
    cali said:
    A bunch of companies piggy backing off Apple’s inventions and hard work. This might hurt Apple in the future as there will be less reason to own an Apple TV or use iTunes. 
    This is hilarious. First off, Apple did not invent retail digital media downloads. iTunes was not the first of its sort or anywhere close. They weren't even the first to do the $0.99 cents per song/$.99 per album thing, nor were they the first to do the 30 second preview thing. I suppose next you are going to resort to "Apple did it the best" or "Apple's became the dominant/most popular so others don't count"? Yeah, that is typical. Apple gets to appropriate and repurpose everyone else's ideas - and often has to get sued in order to force them to pay for it - and that is OK, but everyone should be hands off on every product that Apple produces, even when Apple themselves got the idea elsewhere? To put it another way ... even if Apple had the iTunes idea first - and I repeat they did not - other companies would have had as much right to copy it as Apple did.

    And another issue ... people don't need another reason to abandon iTunes or Apple TV. There are plenty of reasons already. 
    1. Apple TV: the cheapest model costs $149. You can actually buy a name brand 32' HDTV for less. A Roku and a Fire TV stick - which offers 80% of the same features as the Fire TV, and when you consider features that most people will actually use (no, most people don't want to play mobile games on their TV, which by the way requires controllers that cost $40 apiece more increasing the cost to like $229) costs $30. And with a Roku you can access all your content no matter where you bought or rented it, not so with Apple TV.

    2. iTunes: it was already outdated when it was originally launched because it is a standalone application. There were ALREADY web-browser based services that allowed you to buy and download media back in the 1990s. Now, everybody has a browser-based service - or at least a browser based companion to the standalone PC or mobile app - but Apple. YouTube/Google Play. Amazon. Disney. Ultraviolet/Vudu. Redbox. Target. And so on. Apple is the only one that requires you to access a massive bloated buggy slow application to search for and rent/buy movies, music, TV shows and books. What is worse, the competition has offered browser-based options for over ten years. I remember being able to download music from Walmart's website - the predecessor to what is now Vudu - way back in like 2005. 

    3. Oh yeah, content rented through iTunes can only be downloaded on the device that it was originally rented on. No one else has this restriction. Literally no one! At first, Apple tried to claim that it was a restriction imposed on them by the studios to prevent piracy. Gee, why didn't the big, bad content owners do the same to literally everybody else? Now don't get me wrong, that likely was the original reason why this limitation was imposed. The only reason why it still lingers is because Apple's backend e-commerce server application software is many years behind the competition. Which - again - is the same reason why they also do not have browser-based stores for not only iTunes but the App Store. 

    Apple didn't fall behind here because of "thieving" competitors or cheap/ignorant consumers. Apple fell behind because their product was - and still is - inferior. Apple has the best smartphone, the best tablet, the best PC and the best smartwatch. But they do not have the best multimedia solution and haven't in years.
    Apple hasn’t had the one device restriction for a long time. When you rent a movie on your iPad, you can watch it on your AppleTV and vice versa
    fastasleep
  • Reply 17 of 32
    gatorguy said:
    I read elsewhere that Apple was an investor in this partnership. Anyone? Anyone?
    I see Google promoting it, even putting an article up on their main blog page. I don't see mentioned anywhere whether Apple/Google/Amazon put any money up too as investors and not just partners. Where did you read it? . 
    I wish I had made a note at the time.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    Dave CummingsDave Cummings Posts: 12unconfirmed, member
    zrman said:
    My VUDU account isn’t linking. Anyone get theirs to sync?
    Mine isn't linking either
  • Reply 19 of 32
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    cali said:
    A bunch of companies piggy backing off Apple’s inventions and hard work. This might hurt Apple in the future as there will be less reason to own an Apple TV or use iTunes. 
    This is hilarious. First off, Apple did not invent retail digital media downloads. iTunes was not the first of its sort or anywhere close. They weren't even the first to do the $0.99 cents per song/$.99 per album thing, nor were they the first to do the 30 second preview thing. I suppose next you are going to resort to "Apple did it the best" or "Apple's became the dominant/most popular so others don't count"? Yeah, that is typical. Apple gets to appropriate and repurpose everyone else's ideas - and often has to get sued in order to force them to pay for it - and that is OK, but everyone should be hands off on every product that Apple produces, even when Apple themselves got the idea elsewhere? To put it another way ... even if Apple had the iTunes idea first - and I repeat they did not - other companies would have had as much right to copy it as Apple did.

    And another issue ... people don't need another reason to abandon iTunes or Apple TV. There are plenty of reasons already. 
    1. Apple TV: the cheapest model costs $149. You can actually buy a name brand 32' HDTV for less. A Roku and a Fire TV stick - which offers 80% of the same features as the Fire TV, and when you consider features that most people will actually use (no, most people don't want to play mobile games on their TV, which by the way requires controllers that cost $40 apiece more increasing the cost to like $229) costs $30. And with a Roku you can access all your content no matter where you bought or rented it, not so with Apple TV.

    2. iTunes: it was already outdated when it was originally launched because it is a standalone application. There were ALREADY web-browser based services that allowed you to buy and download media back in the 1990s. Now, everybody has a browser-based service - or at least a browser based companion to the standalone PC or mobile app - but Apple. YouTube/Google Play. Amazon. Disney. Ultraviolet/Vudu. Redbox. Target. And so on. Apple is the only one that requires you to access a massive bloated buggy slow application to search for and rent/buy movies, music, TV shows and books. What is worse, the competition has offered browser-based options for over ten years. I remember being able to download music from Walmart's website - the predecessor to what is now Vudu - way back in like 2005. 

    3. Oh yeah, content rented through iTunes can only be downloaded on the device that it was originally rented on. No one else has this restriction. Literally no one! At first, Apple tried to claim that it was a restriction imposed on them by the studios to prevent piracy. Gee, why didn't the big, bad content owners do the same to literally everybody else? Now don't get me wrong, that likely was the original reason why this limitation was imposed. The only reason why it still lingers is because Apple's backend e-commerce server application software is many years behind the competition. Which - again - is the same reason why they also do not have browser-based stores for not only iTunes but the App Store. 

    Apple didn't fall behind here because of "thieving" competitors or cheap/ignorant consumers. Apple fell behind because their product was - and still is - inferior. Apple has the best smartphone, the best tablet, the best PC and the best smartwatch. But they do not have the best multimedia solution and haven't in years.
    Ah the triggering begins. I didn’t say they invented digital media. Bad reading comprehension.

    1. Apple TV too expensive? Find another streamer that runs A10x or is even half as good as Apple’s offering.

    2. Nintendo makes their games for their consoles. Grocery stores have in house brands.

    Oh that’s right only Apple is exempt from
    industry wide norms and shall he bashed for it.
    greedy greedy stupid Apple right?

    3. Apple isn’t behind anyone. My point exactly is that these piggy backers wouldn’t exist or be remotely successful without Apple.
  • Reply 20 of 32
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,822member
    Consumers need a multi-platform locker such as this. I mostly buy blu ray's because its a better deal since you get both physical and digital copies. It gets really annoying when digital codes only work on iTunes or Ultraviolet. Disney Anywhere is great because your digital copy will show up in both your Vudu and iTunes libraries. This new Movies Anywhere service sounds even better since more studios are on board. 
    jahblade
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