Disney partners with Microsoft and Amazon
Despite its name, Disney Movies Anywhere, the studio’s cloud-based digital movie service, hasn’t really been available anywhere you want to watch its titles. But today, that’s beginning to change. The company is expanding support for the service to additional platforms with the launch of new apps for Microsoft Xbox 360, Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, and Amazon tablets. And, in a few more days, it will have apps for Android TV and Roku, too.
The service got its start in February 2014, as an iTunes-integrated application. Users would download the app, then sign in with their iTunes and Disney account information. The Disney Movies Anywhere app would then create a collection of movies you’ve already purchased via iTunes, and allow you to seek out new movies from its online catalog. Users could also redeem the “Digital Copy” codes found in Disney, Pixar and Marvel Blu-rays and DVDs in order to access digital copies of titles they previously only had access to on physical discs.
Since its debut, the service also rolled out to Google Play and Walmart’s VUDU. Plus, it works with Apple TV’s AirPlay and Chromecast, the studio notes.
Currently, there are over 450 digital movies in the Disney Movies Anywhere collection, including titles from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and now Star Wars, as well as exclusive short-form content.
Beginning today in the U.S., a new Disney Movies Anywhere app will be available to Amazon and Microsoft customers, thanks to new partnerships Disney has forged with both companies. The move coincides with one of Disney’s early digital release of one its bigger movies of the year, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The Disney Movies Anywhere app is available now for Xbox 360, Amazon Fire tablets, Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. However, customers won’t necessarily have to use a separate app in order to access their Disney movie collection, the company explains.
You’ll also be able to watch their Disney movies directly through the Amazon Video apps for TVs, connected devices and mobile devices, as well as online at amazon.com/amazonvideo. For Microsoft customers, a similar integration is supported, as you’ll be able to watch Disney movies through Microsoft’s Movies & TV service on Windows and Xbox devices, and atmicrosoft.com/en-us/store/movies-and-tv.
In addition, on September 15th – the same day as the live-action Cinderella becomes available in digital format – Disney will roll out new apps for both Roku and Android TV.
As Disney has done in with past launches, it’s encouraging customers to sign up for the service by giving away a free movie. For a limited time, those who connect an iTunes, Amazon Video, VUDU, Microsoft Movies & TV, or Google Play account for the first time will get a free copy of Disney-Pixar’s Monsters, Inc.
Disney, like many studios, has been affected by declining DVD sales as people increasingly turn to online services to access video content. By offering support for an expanded number of platforms, Disney has the chance to keep more of its customers in its own ecosystem going forward.