Movies Anywhere Promises To Fix Digital Film Libraries – Forbes
Digital copies of movies have always been more trouble than they’re worth. Finding the code in a Blu-Ray copy of a favorite film always led to hassle. Each studio seemingly had its own particular relationship with a digital retailer or distributor, cranking up the number of passwords, accounts and services needed to enjoy films on a phone, laptop, or tablet.
Yet today, with the launch of the free app Movies Anywhere, there may be a grand unifying service to make accumulating a large digital cinematic library feasible.
Scope is the important factor here. Before, the problem with digital services were their limited relationships with studios which stifled the number of movies each one offered.
Movies Anywhere is a coalition between five of the major Hollywood studios ― Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Studios (including all Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm properties), Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainment ― and all the heavy hitters of the online retail world. Amazon, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu combine their offerings for a whopping 7,300 movie selection. To put this in perspective, Netflix offers closer to 4,000.
Ease of access looks to be on par with the streaming juggernaut as well. Movies Anywhere boasts compatibility with Amazon Fire, Androids, Apple products and Rokus at launch, offering a variety of platforms to access a one-stop-shop film library.
This library, which amasses all of a user’s digital copies from the various existing services into one place, is possible thanks to “digital rights system architecture, dubbed ‘Keychest’,” according to The Verge. This had been the foundation of Disney’s original 2014 film locker service and it continues to structure Movies Anywhere now that other studios have come onboard.
Some studios that haven’t yet joined the coalition are Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate, but these blind spots are far less damning than those of Movies Anywhere’s closest competitor, Ultraviolet. That service had similar goals of being a comprehensive movie locker, but without support from powerhouses Disney and Apple, it struggled. With the launch of Movies Anywhere, Ultraviolet is all but dead.
To incentivize signing up for one more streaming service, Movies Anywhere is offering new users free movies depending on which services you link to their library. If you add your Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes or Vudu account, you’ll get free copies of last year’s Ghostbusters remake and Ice Age. Connect more than one of the aforementioned accounts and you’ll also get Big Hero 6, Jason Bourne and The LEGO Movie for free.
Signing up for yet another film service may be a harrowing proposition, but with studios unsure about the future of theatrical releases, embracing the digital landscape is becoming easier and easier.
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