Disney is getting more serious about digital media: the company launched a free app today called Disney Movies Anywhere, which gives users access to the digital movies they've purchased and lets them buy new ones from the web, a computer, and mobile devices. Currently the program is available online, with an app that's compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (no word on Android compatibility yet). It's integrated with Apple TV and iTunes, so any Disney movies customers have purchased through iTunes will sync with the app.
Disney is offering a lot of incentive for customers to try the service: for a limited time, the company will give a free digital copy of The Incredibles to anyone who activates the app and links it with their iTunes account. Those who have special DVDs and Blu-Rays of Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies can also use a code on the packaging to get a digital copy of those films.
The app also gives users a lot of control over where certain movies can be accessed, which will likely appeal to parents whose kids want to watch movies across multiple devices. According to TechCrunch, parents can use MPAA ratings to control which movies their kids watch on a given device — for example, they could block all PG-13 movies on an iPad.
Disney wants people to access its movies anywhere, any time
The company known for lining bookshelves with multicolored VHS tapes, and later DVDs, is coming around to digital in a big way. Just two years ago, Disney was the only major film studio that didn't partner up with the digital movie management company UltraViolet, because the company thought that its customers weren't ready to embrace cloud storage technology. But now the company is trying to go digital completely, and not just with movies: recently Disney Publishing partnered with the ebook subscription service Oyster to bring its digital library to iPhones and iPads. This new service is a major change from the company's historical practice of releasing titles for short periods of time before returning them "to the vault," but now it seems like Disney is opening up to a new kind of customer. One who wants a digital movie vault of their own.