Five major studios launch Movies Anywhere, a new cross-platform streaming app

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Mar 26, 2021, 6:00 AM EDT (Updated)

If you spend enough time online, you'll eventually have the experience of trying to figure out where and how to stream a movie you want to watch. You might buy Big Hero 6 on Amazon, or Google Play, or iTunes, but then you might forget exactly where you purchased that particular film, or how to revisit it. It's one of the great inconveniences of the age of streaming — but a new service is trying to change that.

Movies Anywhere, an extension of the "Disney Movies Anywhere" digital locker service that launched in 2014, just launched today. It's a partnership among five major studios — Disney, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., and Twentieth Century Fox — to bring more than 7,000 films to users. The app itself, available HERE, is free to use, and any films you purchase there can be accessed via Movies Anywhere itself, or iOS, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire, Android TV, or Roku. 

“Movies Anywhere is a massive step forward for the consumer digital media experience, bringing the incredible film libraries of five studios together in a virtual one-stop movie-watching shop,” Movies Anywhere General Manager Karin Gilford said in a statement (via The Wrap). “Movies Anywhere means that consumers never have to remember where they purchased a film or which device they can watch it on, because all of their eligible movies will be centralized within their Movies Anywhere library and available across platforms through the Movies Anywhere app and website and also available at their connected digital retailers. And as Movies Anywhere continues to add more studios, retailers and platforms, the entertainment possibilities are endless.”

According to The Verge, the service is also negotiating with other studios in an effort to further unite numerous entertainment options into a single platform. 

The Wrap also reports that the service is offering a promotion that will grant users as many as five free films, depending on how many of the supported platforms they connect to the app. So, for example, if you connect your Google Play account to Movies Anywhere, you'll gain access to Ice Age and Ghostbusters. Then, if you connect your Amazon Video account, you'll also gain access to Big Hero 6Jason Bourne, and The LEGO Movie.

So, basically, if you're a genre fan with a major interest in streaming movies as quickly as possible, this has major potential. We've long lamented the fragmentation of streaming services as more and more companies decide to open their own proprietary options, leaving everyone with multiple subscription fees and accounts to keep up with. While it's not yet an option in terms of TV, Movies Anywhere is poised to give users a new way forward for streaming movies. If this app works out, you'll be able to purchase a film through any participating service, then stream it from multiple places without ever losing track of where you bought it. It's a potential game-changer.