Buy a digital movie from Amazon and you can watch it in Google Play Movies or via Apple TV thanks to Movies Anywhere, a service designed to bring together many of the major online video platforms so that you can buy once and view on any (supported) device or app.

Now Movies Anywhere is getting ready to launch a new service called Screen Pass that will let you share movies with friends and family.

Think your parents might like that movie you watched last night? You can give them a pass that will let them watch on their own devices without the need to come to your house.

It sounds like a pretty useful feature at a time when many folks are stuck at home practicing social distancing — but while a Screen Pass private beta is launching today, unfortunately the service isn’t expected to be widely available until May.

Here’s how Screen Pass works:

  • Pick a movie you want to share, and send an invite to the person you think might want to watch.
  • They’ll have 7 days to accept the Screen Pass.
  • Once they do that, they have up to 14 days to hit play.
  • And once they do that, they have 72 hours to finish watching.

In other words, it all works a lot like renting a movie… except you need an invite and you don’t have to pay anything to watch.

Users can send up to 3 Screen Pass invitations per month, and not all movies will be eligible. So you’ll have to peruse the Screen Pass section of the Movies Anywhere app to find titles that you can share.

CNET and The Verge report that a private beta launched this afternoon and a public beta is scheduled for early May before the feature rolls out to all users by this fall.

Or if you’re not worried about doing things on the straight and narrow, you could always find a shadier way to watch movies without paying — just in time for the international staycation, torrent streaming app Popcorn Time has come back from the dead (for now).

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2 replies on “Movies Anywhere’s Screen Pass lets you share your digital movies with friends (private beta launches today)”

  1. It’s stupid things like this, why people still buy (4K-HDR) BluRay disks… or end up pirating.

    Technology was “meant” to make our lives easier, simpler, and better. Current state of affairs is the opposite of that.

  2. This is a service easily made redundant by streaming service providers letting you “loan” a license to some content viewings to others with accounts on the same service. Of course maybe a lot of them already do that, what do I know. If this was put together by some startup, they’re probably out to get bought by one of them (since this seems like the kinda thing that would be a blatant terms of service violation). There’s no obvious link to any source code on their site, so I expect that’s the goal.

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