Disney’s Movies Anywhere service lets you buy a digital movie once and watch it on multiple platforms. The last time I looked at the service, that meant you could pay for a Disney movie and watch it on an Android, iOS, Windows, Amazon, or Roku device.

Now Disney is announcing a major expansion: the company has partnered with Sony, Fox, Warner Bros, and Universal… which means that there’s a good chance that when you buy a recent movie from a major US studio on your Amazon Fire TV, you’ll be able to watch it on your iPad or Android Phone, just to name a few possibilities.

You’ll need to sign up for a Movies Anywhere account and install the app to sync your libraries… it’s not like this all happens automatically. But the accounts are free, and you can connect it to a bunch of platforms including:

  • Amazon Video
  • Google Play
  • iTunes
  • Microsoft Movies & TV
  • Vudu

The service is compatible with Amazon Fire TV devices and Fire tablets, Android phones, tablets, Android TV, Chromecast, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV devices, and Roku media streamers.

While there are no Movies Anywhere apps for Xbox, Nintendo, or PlayStation game consoles, you can run Vudu or Amazon Video apps on most of those platforms, so as long as your account is linked to Movies Anywhere you should be good to go.

One platform that’s not supported (anymore) is Windows: Movies Anywhere recently pulled the plug on Microsoft Movies & TV integration.

Movies Anywhere says the list of available titles right now includes a library of 7,300 movies. The service is also offering some free movies to new users including The LEGO Movie, Big Hero 6, Ice Age, Jason Bourne, and the 2016 version of Ghostbusters.

If this all sounds kind of familiar, it’s because Movies Anywhere isn’t the first buy once, watch anywhere platform. UltraViolet had tried to do something similar, but word on the street is that the studios that had backed that platform have largely abandoned it in favor of Disney’s Movies Anywhere service.

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7 replies on “Movies Anywhere makes it easier to buy digital movies once, watch on multiple platforms”

  1. Wow, that’s almost as convenient as The Pirate Bay. I think I still prefer to view first, determine the media’s value, and pay that amount from whomever is selling it at that price.

  2. Would have gotten this if it supported Windows. I watch most movies either on a Windows PC or my iPhone.

  3. And if you buy into this new system there is no telling when they will pull the plug on the servers and you will lose all those movies you “own”. How many times do these DRMed systems have to fail before consumers realize if you don’t have an unencrypted copy stored locally, you don’t own anything?

    1. There isn’t much point in griping about something that’s not going to change. Digital media is here to stay, whether its ownership, subscription, or rental. At least with this model, one of the services can fail and you will still have access to your purchases.

      1. That’s pretty much where I am with this… that said, I rarely “buy” movies from Amazon or Google, the two ecosystems I’m most tied into.

        Instead I pay for Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, with the full understanding that sometimes videos I’ve saved to watch later might disappear and new ones will be added.

        But since I’m paying for access to a huge (and shifting) library of content instead of specific videos, it doesn’t feel like I’m losing anything when I lose access to a movie. Odds are it’ll pop up again on another subscription service in the future anyway.

      2. Don’t be too sure things will never change. Remember how music started. Now most of the places you can buy music do not use DRM. Make it affordable and easy enough and people will actually pay. Sure, some will pirate, but then they would not have paid anyway.

        By the way Brad, if these verification challenges get to be any more of a PITA I will quit posting comments. It took over a dozen clicks to get past it this time. I am not sure if you will take that as a warning or a promise.

Comments are closed.