Disney announced a proprietary digital movie access platform on Tuesday called Disney Movies Anywhere, and the company partnered with Apple and iTunes to make it happen. With Disney Movies Anywhere, customers can access their Disney movies on any iOS device, or through a browser on Mac and PC.
As an incentive to attach your iTunes account to your Disney account, the company is offering a free copy of the awesome Pixar movie The Incredibles, and the timing of the launch is being used to promote current blockbuster hit Frozen.
Disney Movies Anywhere
Disney's information is somewhat opaque, so we took the time to set up an account and see exactly what the company is offering with Disney Movies Anywhere. The short version is that it's a Disney-branded portal to iTunes movie purchases of Disney movies, with the benefit of being able to add digital iTunes copies of movies you purchase on DVD and Blu-ray.
Put another way, movies purchased from iTunes get added to your Disney Movies Anywhere library, and using a code included in DVD and Blu-ray copies, you can download a copy from iTunes. You also get Disney Rewards points for movies purchased through iTunes or purchases initiated through Disney Movies Anywhere.
That essentially makes it a single-brand competitor to Ultraviolet, the cloud access system backed by many movie studios, but never supported by Disney. Using the Disney Movies Anywhere app for iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, or using a browser on a Mac or PC, users can stream all of their Disney purchases to any of those devices. Apple is supplying that streaming service, as well.
Note that signing up for Disney Movies Anywhere requires you to agree to give Disney permission to sell your personal data. This was true even when we signed in with an existing Disney account.
Once you do sign in, you are asked to provide your iTunes credentials in order for Disney movies purchased before the launch of the service to be tied to your Disney account. Once you provide your credentials, The Incredibles is automatically added to your account (this is a limited-time offer).
We should also note that it took several minutes for The Incredibles to appear in your Purchased history in iTunes, but it did eventually appear. Once there, we could download it to iTunes (as a 1080p HD copy), stream it through iTunes, or stream it through Disney Movies Anywhere.
We also purchased a copy of Pixar's Up, which was then instantly available in Disney Movies Anywhere.