While there are plenty of places to buy movies and TV shows online, one minor problem is that you’re forever stuck having to watch that video on the platform where you purchased it, whether it’s Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, etc. But a newly revamped service claims to let you stash digital videos from various sources into one place.
The service is called Movies Anywhere, and was started by Disney back in 2014. You may have seen it marketed as Disney Movies Anywhere, which served as a digital locker for the studio’s movies and movies from franchises that it owns, like Marvel and Star Wars.
Today, Disney announced that it has signed on more studios to the service, which has now dropped the “Disney” and is called Movies Anywhere. Disney’s new movie-sharing buddies are Warner Bros., Universal, Sony Pictures, and Twentieth Century Fox, and other major studios could join later. Together, these give Movies Everywhere thousands of films.
The system is a decent replacement for the Ultraviolet multi-platform digital rights management that no one really liked. It lets customers access any Disney content they had purchased from various services. (Don’t confuse this with having streaming access to Disney content, which will be a separate subscription-based service.)
In practical terms, this means that you link your existing digital content accounts to the Movies Everywhere service, and it allows you to watch any of the disparate movies you’ve collected from any of your accounts, or from the Movies Anywhere app.
This is not earth-shattering. Really, it should have existed years ago for services outside of Disney.
“Are they providing a service consumers are clamoring for? No, not that I’ve seen,” one streaming media analyst told Ars Technica.
If you like to own movies, or if you want to ensure that your four-year-old has a copy of Moana to watch multiple times every day on whatever device you happen to have with you, this is a practical solution.
Movies Anywhere is offering free copies of some relatively recent releases, including Big Hero 6, Ghostbusters (2017), and The Lego Movie, to users who sign up and link two accounts.