There is a new streaming service available. It’s called Movies Anywhere, and it sounds like it’s too good to be true. It doesn’t only put your online movies in one place, it puts them everywhere. Which is kind of confusing at first glance. But think of it this way – it’s like a digital bridge between the big four online video vendors: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Letting you access their content – anywhere. Movies Anywhere is backed by Warner Brothers, Disney, Universal, Sony, and Fox. Which means films produced by these studios will appear in the Movies Anywhere app – regardless of where you originally purchased them.
The app works on iOS and Android devices – including Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast and on Roku devices. Movies Anywhere said that more platforms and retailers are still to come. It also works in your browser so if you don’t have any of the above-mentioned devices, you can still use it.
It still sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Let’s look at an example – let’s say you bought “The Dark Knight”, which is a Warner Brothers movie on iTunes. If you link your iTunes account with Movies Anywhere, that movie will then be available through the Movies Anywhere app AND the Vudu, Google Play, and Amazon apps. Which means you can, for instance, get movies that you bought on iTunes through non-Apple devices like Roku and Android phones for the first time. At no extra cost.
This might mean being able to access some of Apple’s original content when it becomes available. Some are speculating that when Apple gets some original content of their own, it will only be available on iOS devices. Movies Anywhere could bridge that gap, undermining what Apple is trying to do. Which is boost sales of their devices, isn’t it? Is this shady? On one hand, it’s allowing people access to content that they wouldn’t otherwise have. On the other hand, in the example I provided above, it might be undercutting Apple’s plan and profits.
So which studios are on board with this? As I mentioned, Warner Bros., Disney, Universal, Sony, and Fox are all on the service. For now, Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM/UA are the biggest holdouts — that means no cross-platform Godfather, Indiana Jones, Katniss Everdeen or old-school James Bond, for now. You will not likely see some independent movies supported, either. That being said, Movies Anywhere is designed as an open platform, so any studio not currently on board can theoretically join later, once licensing details are ironed out.
You can’t purchase movies from Movies Anywhere. It’s merely the platform to connect all your purchases. If you see a film that you want to purchase when you’re using the Movies Anywhere app, you will be notified of which vendors have the movie you want to watch. Pricing information isn’t shown in this window for some reason.
TV shows are not included. But some TV movies and miniseries (like the 1990 TV version of “It”) are included. Which is kind of confusing, but we’ll take what we can get. The downside to Movies Anywhere is that it’s not available if you live outside the United States. However, once you register from a U.S. based IP address, users should be able to access the app internationally.
You can download movies for offline viewing. Up to a maximum of 8 devices, and a maximum of 16 devices over a 12 month period. Who has 16 devices? Unless everyone in your family has 3 or more devices each. Lastly, how is this different from Disney Movies Anywhere? It basically isn’t. It’s the same technology of that service that’s been around since 2014. But it’s now expanded to include movies from non-Disney Studios. This might be another reason for you to cut the cord if you haven’t already.