Type of site
|Digital rights locker service|
Video on Demand
|Founded||February 10, 2014|
|Predecessor(s)||Disney Movies Anywhere|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Area served||United States|
|Owner||The Walt Disney Company|
|General manager||Karin Gilford|
|Parent||Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International|
Movies Anywhere is a United States-exclusive cloud-based digital locker and over-the-top streaming platform operated by The Walt Disney Company. The service allows users to stream and download purchased films, including digital copies redeemed from codes found in home video releases as well as digital purchases from participating services. The platform provides content from Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., and Walt Disney Studios. The system utilizes an internal platform known as KeyChest, which synchronizes content licenses from digital distribution platforms linked to a central user account.
Movies Anywhere was first launched on February 10, 2014 as Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA), with content from Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars-branded films on iOS with iTunes Store integration; the service has since been extended to other platforms and storefronts, including Amazon Video, FandangoNOW, Google Play Movies & TV, Microsoft Movies & TV, and Vudu, along with subscribers of Xfinity and Verizon Fios TV services. On October 12, 2017, DMA was relaunched as Movies Anywhere, with other studios joining Disney in offering their film titles through the platform. Some time in 2018, titles on Google Play Movies & TV linked through Movies Anywhere were also made available through the "Purchased Movies" heading on a customer's YouTube account.
Movies Anywhere is a competitor to the UltraViolet platform that was deployed by other major film studios (although the latter is declining as most of those studios move to Movies Anywhere); Disney declined to back the platform, in favor of promoting KeyChest as an alternative. On January 31, 2019, the consortium behind Ultraviolet announced that it would terminate its services on July 31, 2019, although the studios remaining with Ultraviolet (including Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate) have yet to move to Movies Anywhere.
In 2009, Disney unveiled a rights synchronization platform known as KeyChest, which would allow content purchases via digital distribution platforms to be queried and used to build a centralized library. The company explained that this system would allow "persistent" access to purchased content across multiple digital platforms, including television set-top boxes and mobiles. The platform was viewed as being a competitor to UltraViolet, a competing concept developed by DECE, a consortium containing all other major U.S. film studios but Disney.
Disney Movies Anywhere originally launched on February 10, 2014, as an iOS app that allows users to link Disney films purchased on iTunes Store into a unified library with digital copies of Disney films purchased on physical media, so that they can be streamed or downloaded. The integration is achieved by linking a user's Apple ID with a Disney account. The app also allows users to browse through a catalog of Disney films available on iTunes Store, access supplemental content such as interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, and participate in the Disney Movie Rewards program. Walt Disney Studios CTO Jamie Voris explained that the app was designed to provide a "rich, interactive experience" around its content as an alternative to "utilitarian" online stores and that Disney planned to seek additional retail partners for the service in the future.
In November 2014, support for Google Play Movies & TV and Vudu was added. In September 2015, support for Amazon Video and Microsoft Movies & TV was added, and DMA apps for Android TV and Roku were also released. In August 2016, Verizon Fios became the first television provider to integrate with DMA, allowing purchases through Fios On Demand to be synced into DMA libraries.
In September 2017, DMA ceased support for Microsoft Movies & TV, with future purchases no longer automatically accessible through the linked library  However, in August 2018 support for the service provider was officially restored under Movies Anywhere.
On October 10, 2017, it was reported that the DMA platform would expand to include content from non-Disney studios under the name Movies Anywhere, with 20th Century Fox (which was eventually acquired by Disney in 2019), Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. serving as initial partners, and Lionsgate and Paramount Pictures expressing interest. It would also include titles from Disney's Hollywood Pictures and Touchstone Pictures banners that were previously unavailable on DMA. The DMA platform was relaunched on October 12, 2017. The Verge felt that the new platform could be used to replace the commercially unsuccessful UltraViolet platform (which Disney did not support). For physical copies of films printed pre-Movies Anywhere, these studios now route users redeeming codes formerly meant for their redemption portals and Ultraviolet to the redemption section of the Movies Anywhere site.
Just two months after launch, at the January 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, General Manager Karin Gilford announced that consumers’ accounts had accumulated nearly 80 million movies. That same month, Movies Anywhere was picked the 2018 winner of Home Media Magazine's inaugural Media Play News Fast Forward Awards, honoring people, technologies, organizations, products, or services that move the home entertainment industry forward.
Support for FandangoNow was added on March 13, 2018, with talks also resuming between Movies Anywhere and Microsoft Movies & TV. By then, there were more than 100 million movies in consumer accounts.
On August 6, 2018, it was announced that Microsoft Movies & TV would be rejoining the Movies Anywhere service. By then, the number of movies in customer accounts had grown to more than 135 million.
On January 31, 2019, Ultraviolet announced that it would terminate its services on July 31, 2019 owing to increased support for Movies Anywhere. While Lionsgate and Paramount dropped out of that service in July and December 2018, they have not made any transition to Movies Anywhere. MGM, the remaining studio that continued to utilize Ultraviolet, also did not transition to Movies Anywhere (although some MGM films like Missing Link and Booksmart also end up in Movies Anywhere, usually through 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment).
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- Movies Anywhere – official site