Movies Anywhere: Hollywood studios team up for cross-platform digital locker
James R | On 14, Oct 2017
Hollywood is finally coming up with the answer to the fragmented nature of the online streaming world with the launch of a new service, Movies Anywhere.
The digital locker is a free app and website that collates movies that have been purchased online from different studios, retailers and platforms. If the idea of a cloud-based locker sounds familiar, that’s because it is: Movies Anywhere is based on the same technology, called Keychest, that Disney developed for its own platform, Disney Movies Anywhere. While that service, which launched in 2014, allowed people to watch their Disney movies anywhere, this wider-reaching launch combines titles from a group of major studios: Universal, Sony, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox have all signed up to support the project.
Together, that means the digital locker can support over 7,300 films, with Paramount and Lionsgate reportedly in talks to join in the future.
Platforms that are supported, meanwhile, include Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu, with customers able to sync their retail accounts so that any purchases are automatically added.
Digital codes from eligible Blu-rays and DVDs can also be redeemed to give them an access to an electronic copy of a film purchased on disc. If that also sounds familiar, that’s because it is too: Movies Anywhere’s launch effectively marks the successor to the muddled UltraViolet initiative, which the movie industry attempted to launch years ago alongside Blu-rays.
Karin Gilford, General Manager of the Movies Anywhere team, commented in a statement launching the service: “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 centralised within their Movies Anywhere library and available across platforms through the Movies Anywhere app and website and also available at their connected digital retailers.”
The Movies Anywhere app is compatible with Amazon Fire, Android and iOS devices, as well as Roku devices, Apple TV, Android TV and Google Chromecast. To celebrate the launch, new users can add up to five free movies, including Disney’s Big Hero 6, Sony’s Ghostbusters (2016), Universal’s Jason Bourne and Warner Bros.’ The LEGO Movie, to their Movies Anywhere collection by connecting their first two qualifying digital retailer accounts.
The only catch? Movies Anywhere is currently only available anywhere within the USA. With the backing of five major studios and online retailers, though, it is likely to only be a matter of time until Movies Anywhere also covers the UK. Watch this space to find out more: we’ll let you know as soon as we do.