By Tracey Dowdy
Recently released, the Movies Anywhere app is changing the game for powerhouse streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
Serving as a “digital locker service,” Movies Anywhere features content from four major studios: Walt Disney (owner of Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm), Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. That’s a combined catalog of over 7,300 movies.
Movies Anywhere means you have one access point for all your video downloads, syncing content from Amazon, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu across all your devices and auto-populating the app with all your content.
Movies Anywhere GM Karin Gilford says, “It’s simplicity. It’s ease of use. It’s bringing it together all in one place. It’s going to be amazing. This is going to enable movie fans to sync their movie collection from the five studios across retailers, devices, platforms.”
Though owned by Disney, the app operates independently with oversight and input through an advisory committee of members from each of the participating studios. Last summer, Disney announced they would be pulling their content from Netflix to start their own service. Beginning in 2019, movies from Walt Disney Studios and Pixar will no longer be available on Netflix, though Marvel Studios films will remain. Disney has yet to decide whether they’ll pull Lucasfilm content.
Users can buy new digital movies on the app through Movies Anywhere retailers and will be able to redeem codes from DVDs or Blu-ray Discs they have purchased to gain instant access. And, beginning next year, DVD’s will carry the Movies Anywhere brand.
Users can have up to five sub-accounts in addition to their master account. Like other streaming services such as Netflix, each sub-account has personalized recommendations and restrictions, so the primary account holder can filter content, e.g., no R-rated movies for kids. Only the master account holder may make purchases.
Because content is synced across devices, users can start streaming a movie on one device and finish it on another. Two viewers can watch the same title on different devices at one time and up to four viewers can stream different content on different devices at the same time, a feature not available with many streaming services.
Users can access their library on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire devices, Android mobile and tablet devices, Android TV, Chromecast, and several web browsers.
Currently, new users get five free movies for downloading the app: For linking to your first account you’ll get “Ghostbusters” (2016) and “Ice Age.” Linking to a second retailer gives you “Big Hero 6,” “Jason Bourne” and “The Lego Movie.”
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.