Movies Anywhere, a new service that pulls together iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu, is creating lots of buzz since its announcement this week. Here’s what you need to know:
There’s a new streaming movie service called Movies Anywhere, and it almost sounds too good to true. It doesn’t only put most of your online movies in one place, it puts them everyplace.
Think of it like a digital bridge between the big four online video vendors: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Movies Anywhere is backed by Warner Bros., Disney, Universal, Sony and Fox. So films produced by those studios will appear in the Movies Anywhere app, regardless of where you originally purchased them. Additionally, those films should appear in each of the services through which you’ve connected your accounts.
So, to give just one real-life example: If you bought “The Dark Knight” — a Warner movie — on iTunes, and you’ve linked your accounts through Movies Anywhere, that same movie will then be available in the Vudu, Google Play and Amazon apps, in addition to the Movies Anywhere app itself. That means you can, for instance, get access to movies you bought on iTunes through non-Apple devices like Roku players and Android phones for the first time ever, at no additional cost.
Will Movies Anywhere be a game changer for cordcutters? If you frequently purchase movie downloads (instead of rentals), it’s definitely worth checking to see if the movie you want is supported by the service. However, since the app itself doesn’t support 4K or HDR movies, you will need to use native apps to get full quality playback. The real game changer here is that movies purchased through iTunes can be played back on non iOS devices (if you are ok with the above caveats in terms of quality) and movies purchased on Amazon, for example, can be accessed and played on your Apple TV.
Update: We are hearing reports of people who have bought movies thinking they were part of the MA ecosystem only to find out they are not. So, you need to be certain if you are looking to take advantage of the ease of access a MA title affords.