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Movies Anywhere brings together films from Apple, Amazon and Google

The current situation with the digital purchase of films is anything but encouraging for consumers: Anyone who buys a film from Apple can then only view it via the iPhone manufacturer's platform. The services from Google, Amazon and Co. also present themselves as similar silos, which means that users of multiple platforms always have to know exactly where they have bought which title. Above all, however, this creates considerable problems when switching to another provider: Anyone who has purchased a film from iTunes, for example, has no access to it on an Android smartphone, so must buy this title again if necessary.

Movies Anywhere

A frustrating situation for consumers, but for which a surprising improvement is now in sight: A number of large Hollywood studios have agreed on a common platform together with the most important software manufacturers: Movies Anywhere is supposed to be available on iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play and The Verge reports that they will be merging the titles they have bought in a shared library.

The promise is "buy once, look everywhere", and this also means that you want to cover as many platforms as possible. Not only should there be a browser version of Movies Anywhere, an app for iOS, Android, Amazon Fire devices and Roku has also been announced. Chromecast support should be integrated as well as the possibility to cache films for offline viewing.

Codes

Movies Anywhere shouldn't just focus on titles bought online, by the way. The service should also be able to recognize the codes that are enclosed with some Blu-Rays or DVDs for digital copies (Ultraviolet, Disney Movies Anywhere), and thus be able to authorize access to the corresponding film. The purchase of new titles should also be possible via the new platform, with Android users then being able to choose between Google Play, Amazon and Vudu, while Apple users are limited to the services of the iPhone manufacturer.

Film studios currently participating in Movies Anywhere include Warner Bros., Universal, Sony Pictures, and Twentieth Century Fox, among others. Also included is Disney, which has been offering a similar service with Disney Movies Anywhere for several years - but only for its own films. A total of 7,300 titles will be available at Movies Anywhere at the start.

If you register right from the start and connect at least two accounts, you should also get five films (including Big Hero 6, Lego Movie and the latest part of the Jason Bourne saga) for free, Google adds in its own blog post. There is also a link to the Android app for Movies Anywhere, but the link is currently empty.

Restrictions

However, at least at the beginning there are still one or the other crucial limitation. There are currently no deals with Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate, even if negotiations are supposedly ongoing. Above all, however, the whole thing is initially limited to the USA, so European users initially have little of it. Interested parties resident there can now pre-register for the service. (apo, October 12, 2017)