Disney steps further into Netflix territory with Movies Anywhere streaming service

There is still more than a year to go before Disney launches its own, proprietary streaming video service, which will result in that being the only place where you will be able to stream online movies such as “Rogue One,” “Moana” and the latest version of “Beauty and the Beast”– movies that will disappear from Netflix, where you can see them now.

In the meantime, it could be argued that Disney is laying some of the groundwork for its future video-streaming plans with the launch of a new service called Movies Anywhere. Not only is Disney behind the venture, but it has also lined up Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainment to add their content to Movies Anywhere’s 7,300-film library.

So…just what is Movies Anywhere?

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It’s a streaming/digital locker service that lets you watch movies, well, pretty much anywhere. You buy the movies from digital services like iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, MoviesAnywhere.com, or even old-fashioned DVD and Blu-ray discs that come with a Movies Anywhere redemption code, and then download or stream the movies from the Movies Anywhere app.

Once a person sets up a Movies Anywhere account, they can then get access to their video library from a variety of sources, including Amazon Fire devices, Android mobile and tablets, Android TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Roku platform and on the web.

To stoke enthusiasm for the service, Disney is giving away up to five free digital movies to subscribers. When you link your account to a retailer the first time, you can get the movie “Ice Age” and the 2016 reboot of “Ghostbusters.” Although, let’s admit it, giving consumers a free copy of the original “Ghostbusters” starring Bill Murray would be way better.

Linking an account with a second retailer gets you “Big Hero 6,” (which was awesome) “Jason Bourne” (glad to see Matt Damon back) and “The Lego Movie.” (And if you don’t choke up at the end of that one, then you have problems).

It’s not pulling Disney content off Netflix, yet, but Movies Anywhere might just get consumers thinking about how they’re going to watch anything under the Disney umbrella from now on.

Photo: The logo for Disney’s new Movies Anywhere streaming digital locker service. Disney is launching Movies Anywhere with a library of 7,300 movies from five major Hollywood studios. (Courtesy Disney)


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