Five Hollywood Studios On Board For Movies Anywhere Service

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Wait - isn't that a reference from the Warner Bros. property The Lord of the Rings, you ask? Movies Anywhere offers a library of over 7,300 digital movies at launch, including new releases, and will continue to expand the consumer experience as more content providers, digital retailers and platforms are added. Today, Disney has partnered with additional movie houses (Fox, Sony Pictures, Universal and Warner Bros.) to launch a broader version of this service called simply, Movies Anywhere. Movie content purchased or redeemed through digital retailers Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu will be supported through this service.

Along with Disney (and its Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm marks), the service features films from Sony Pictures Entertainment (NYSE:SNE), 20th Century Fox (FOX, FOXA), Universal Pictures (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Warner Bros.

"Movies Anywhere is a massive step forward for the consumer digital media experience, bringing the incredible film libraries of five studios together in a virtual one-stop movie-watching shop", said Karin Gilford, General Manager, Movies Anywhere, who leads an independent, dedicated cross-functional team of product, technology, marketing and other professionals. Movies Anywhere now offers support for devices including Amazon Fire; Android devices and Android TV; Apple TV; Chromecast; Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod touch; and Roku.

This solves a painful issue in which you'd download a movie to a platform like Amazon, for example, and then realize that you can't easily watch it on a TV or set-top that doesn't have the app (like Amazon TV 4K at the moment).

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Paramount is the last remaining major studio that is not a part of Movies Anywhere.

There's also no rental or streaming option here - Disney Movies Anywhere is just a platform for digital sell-through, which is the most expensive digital option, but also the first available, sometimes weeks before physical discs and many months before streaming. These are the movies you'll receive for free when you link up.

It's not yet clear what Disney is getting out of this; they wouldn't tell me what, if any, slice of a sale they get from a film that gets ported over to their platform. Since this service was limited to Disney's movies, it didn't reach lots of consumers.

Buying digital movies outright for as much as $19.99 isn't for everyone.

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