Disney has teamed up with four big movie studios to make sharing movie downloads between ecosystems as simple as possible.In 2014, Disney debuted its digital extension, Disney Movies Anywhere, which allowed users to bridge the ecosystem divide for movie downloads. If you bought, say, The Lion King on iTunes and Aladdin on Google Play Movies, DMA gave you access to both those movies on either platform — as well as on Amazon and Vudu.
Now, Disney has finalized agreements with four of the other major studios — Fox, Sony Pictures, Universal, and Warner Bros. — to expand the feature into a near all-encompassing service, aptly called Movies Anywhere. The only major holdout appears to be Paramount Pictures, which distributes popular flicks like Mission Impossible and Transformers.
Available on both Android and iOS or through a dedicated web portal, Movies Anywhere allows users to sign into their Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, or Vudu accounts and, like DMA, gain access to all their movies … anywhere.
It’s a service that our own Ara Wagoner has grown to love, since Disney, which developed the technology, works with the individual platform providers to facilitate the rights management. That means movies aren’t sequestered to the Movies Anywhere app, but can be viewed in Google Play Movies like any other purchase. The other studios initially supported a competing technology, Ultraviolet, which was extremely user-unfriendly and garnered little mainstream use.
It won’t stem the growth of Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Video, but it’s a consumer-friendly move in an industry that doesn’t always put its customers first.
The unifying move is certainly an attempt to make buying movies a lot more enticing in the world of Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services, but it also solves a major problem with platform lock-in. Anyone who’s moved from an iPhone to Android likely had