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Disney Movies Anywhere Launches with iTunes Integration

TMCnet Feature

February 27, 2014

Disney Movies Anywhere Launches with iTunes Integration

By Michelle Nicolson
TMCnet Contributing Writer

Always determined to do it their own way, Walt Disney (News - Alert) Studios has launched a movie app called Disney Movies Anywhere, which allows consumers to purchase Disney movies from the studio’s library of 420 films.

The app, which is available for free for Apple (News - Alert) devices, integrates with iTunes itself so the movies can be viewed with either the Disney app or iTunes itself.

"We had always made the decision that we were going to do something different," said Jamie Voris, Walt Disney Studios' chief technology officer, to The Los Angeles Times. "For us, it was really about waiting until we felt that we had ... something that we felt was worthy of our brand, and something our customers would expect from us."

It’s no coincidence that the release of the app coincides with the digital release of Disney’s latest princess blockbuster, Frozen. The media giant is sweetening the deal for consumers who open a Disney Movies Anywhere account and connect it with an iTunes account with a free copy of The Incredibles animated film. Other movies from Disney, Pixar and Marvel are available for purchase for $19.99 each.

The Disney Movies Anywhere app streams Disney, Pixar and Marvel digital movies via the app or a connected iTunes account.
(Source (News - Alert): Walt Disney Studios)

“Disney Movies Anywhere offers an exceptional consumer experience built around some of the most beloved and popular entertainment brands in the world,” said Alan Bergman, president of Walt Disney Studios, in a statement. “This unique technology underscores Disney’s commitment to meeting our consumers where they are with the content they want, and we’re thrilled to debut with iTunes, the No. 1 digital media retailer in the world.”

Whether consumers will embrace the approach, however, remains to be seen. The separate app may be a barrier to widespread adoption rates, with the exception of loyal Disney enthusiasts.

However, the separate app has certain features that families may appreciate. For example, parental controls enable device-specific viewing restrictions on movies, so it’s possible to lock an iPod Touch device to only play G-rated movies, for example.

Disney will also extend its Disney Movie Rewards program to digital users. Since 2008, the company has included codes in DVD, Blu-ray and Web products that are redeemable for digital copies of Disney, Pixar and Marvel films. Users can now redeem those codes via Disney Movies Anywhere.

According to the company, those redeemed rewards, such as digital copies of movies, will automatically show up in both the app and iTunes once a user logs into Disney Movies Anywhere and connects an iTunes account. Users can also earn points toward digital purchases via the app for the first time.

Voris said the app is debuting only with iTunes for now, but also plans to work with future partners on other platforms.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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