Movies Anywhere is a new service that solves a major problem.
Using a single app, you can now access your Amazon, iTunes, Google and Vudu movie libraries. For real. That not only eliminates the hassles of jumping among four different services depending on what you want to watch, but also dissolves some platform barriers. For example, Roku owners can watch movies purchased from iTunes. Amazon Fire ($50 at eBay) tablet owners can watch Google Play movies, and so on.
Ready to get started? Movies Anywhere is free, and when you connect at least two of the aforementioned services (which Movies Anywhere refers to as "retailers"), you'll score five free movies:
- "Big Hero 6"
- "Ghostbusters (2016)"
- "Ice Age"
- "Jason Bourne"
- "The Lego Movie"
Woot! Here's how to set everything up:
Step 1: Sign up for a Movies Anywhere account. You can use an existing Facebook or Google account, or provide an email address and password.
Step 2: Connect one or more retailers. As noted above, once you hit at least two, you'll see the five free movies in your account. If you're using a desktop browser to set up your connection to iTunes, you'll need to have the desktop client installed. For the three others, you'll just need to be signed in and approve the connection.
Step 3: Start watching! Movies Anywhere apps are available for Amazon Fire, Android, Apple TV ($130 at Best Buy), iOS, Roku and all major web browsers. What's more, all your movie purchases will cross-pollinate into all your other libraries. So everything you bought from, say, Vudu will now appear in your iTunes library, and vice-versa. That means you don't necessarily even need a Movies Anywhere app; just continue with whatever app/platform you're already using.
Step 4: Review your video-sharing settings. By default, Movies Anywhere shares various information about you with any retailers you've connected. However, you have the option of opting out of video-data sharing with participating studios and Movies Anywhere service providers. To review and modify these settings, tap or click the Menu icon and choose Video Data Sharing.
We're still investigating a lot of the details on the service, including 4K/HDR video support. And -- at least for now -- you won't see movies from Paramount or Lionsgate in your shared library, as those two studios have yet to join the party. We're working on a forthcoming Movies Anywhere FAQ that will address these and other questions.