A new service launched late yesterday promises to make streaming your favorite purchased movies easier by putting them all in one place. The new free app Movies Anywhere acts like a digital locker for the movies you’ve paid for through various online retailers, including Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes, and Vudu. Signing up for a Movies Anywhere account gives you access to the digital locker, which you can then populate with purchased or redeemed movies by logging in to the accounts you have with those online retailers.
It takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work for a service like this to flourish. It’s not easy to access movies you’ve purchased from an online retailer from another service. Typically, users have to go back and forth between Amazon, Google, iTunes, and Vudu to watch the titles they purchased through each outlet. According to a report from the Verge, Movies Anywhere can collect all those titles in one place because it’s built off of the same digital rights system architecture (called Keychest) that Disney first developed for its service Disney Movies Anywhere.
Disney launched its service in 2014 and it allowed users to get access to all of the company’s titles in one place. Movies Anywhere is using the same architecture with the blessing and collaborations of five Hollywood studios: Walt Disney Studios (which includes Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm), Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. Entertainment. While discussions are ongoing with Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate to join the service, Movies Anywhere will not launch with any titles from those studios. However, that still means the service has over 7,300 titles in its library already.
This isn’t the industry’s first attempt to simplify film organization, viewing, and purchasing for digital users. The previously launched UltraViolet service was ultimately abandoned for Disney’s superior architecture, and because it did not have support from companies like Apple.
In addition to watching any movies you’ve purchased through Movies Anywhere, you’ll also be able to purchase movies in the app. Before buying a movie, you’ll see every connected retailer that offers it, allowing you to choose which services you want to purchase it from. That means you can buy a title from Google Play using your Google Play account information without leaving the Movies Anywhere app.
Aside from Movies Anywhere supporting the most popular digital film retailers, the service also supports a variety of streaming devices. Movies Anywhere users can access their libraries and watch films on Android, Amazon Fire, and iOS devices, as well as Android TV, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast devices.
Users might be skeptical of yet another service they need to sign up for in order to reap the benefits of an all-in-one digital library. However, the fact that the Movies Anywhere app is free will likely be enticing enough for some folks. Movies Anywhere is also offering a tempting deal when you connect accounts: when you link your first account, Movies Anywhere will give you access to two free movies. Linking the second account will give you another three free movies. There’s no word on how long this promotion will last, but it is a “limited-time offer” for those who are the first to embrace Movies Anywhere as their digital film library.
This article was reblogged from Ars Technica.