I used to make a lot of fun of
UltraViolet – not the movie, which was also worthy of scorn – but the movie industry effort to create a newfangled form of DRM with a cooler name. If you’ve never heard of it, there’s a reason for that – it was a shitshow
. The only time I ever see it now is in hotel rooms that sell those ridiculously priced “Still in theaters” movies…
It’s an interface that will finally make digital movie collection seamless, according to Gilford. The launch comes after several fits and starts, including the stalled UltraViolet digital locker service and Disney’s launch of its own proprietary service, Disney Movies Anywhere.
Observers say the studios abandoned UltraViolet for Disney’s model because the technology is superior.
Starting tonight, consumers can download a free Movies Anywhere app, create an account and link to any of the four digital retailers. The service will automatically populate consumers’ digital library from any of those four retailers on Movies Anywhere. Consumers can immediately stream or download any film from their Movies Anywhere library.
Given the lineage described above, I was dubious. But I will say, having downloaded the “Movies Anywhere” app for iOS, it’s not half bad. Once I connected my various accounts (iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, etc – and they incentivize you to do this by offering you free, pre-selected movies, like Jason Bourne, if you connect multiple services), it took a few hours for the movies I owned to show up. But eventually, there they all were – well, minus the ones distributed by Paramount and Lionsgate, because of course it can’t be totally seamless. And they all work, streaming, etc.
It’s not the best app in the world, but it’s simple enough. And it’s nice to have some peace of mind that movies you own will come with you no matter where your ecosystem travels may take you.
Of course, one has to wonder if movies won’t eventually go by the way of music as well. That is, less ownership, more subscription-style. Certainly, it seems that Disney is already at work on this. For now though, not bad.