Disney has created the buy once, watch everywhere movie service that consumers have always wanted. The company has managed to rally support from a number of major Hollywood film studios — Paramount and Lionsgate are the major holdouts — and the end result is Movies Anywhere, a new service that promises glorious cross-platform support for (almost) all the digital movies that you’ve ever purchased. You’re no longer stuck watching a movie with just the video app from the company you bought it from.
With Movies Anywhere, your iTunes movies will now show up in Amazon Video and vice versa. Same for any movies you’ve bought from Google Play or Vudu. And all those UltraViolet movies you redeemed from codes in Blu-ray cases are now available, well, everywhere. (Except for the ones from Paramount and Lionsgate, of course.) Over 7,300 movies work with Movies Anywhere at launch, and more will be coming over time.
The service launched yesterday and ran into some early issues; the ability to link a Vudu account (where most people have their UltraViolet library) with the service was unavailable for several hours. But that problem seems to have been cleared up, as by the afternoon I was able to successfully add Vudu to my service and within a few minutes, my iTunes movie library grew substantially thanks to UltraViolet titles.
Movies Anywhere is currently available only in the United States. With that brutal disappointment out of the way for international readers, let’s look at how it all works.
Sign up for a Movies Anywhere account. This is a new service and is separate from Disney Movies Anywhere. The two do not share login credentials, so you must register to get started. Each Movies Anywhere account can have one master account and several subaccounts, each with their own parental controls (ratings restrictions, etc.) and recommendations.
Link your retailer accounts. This is the big step…