The Disney Movies Anywhere service debuted in 2014 as a cloud-based digital movie service, with an iOS and Web experience that allows users to discover, purchase, manage and watch movies from Disney, Pixar and Marvel from home or away. Since that time, Disney has been actively courting other studios to join the system, in an effort to combat dwindling DVD sales, poor box office performance, and the threat from streaming providers like Netflix.
Now it appears that 5 of the 6 major Hollywood movie studios will have content on the system as soon as next week.
Bloomberg is reporting that major studios such as 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures are among those joining the service. By banding together, the makers of the world’s most popular films are betting they can succeed in attracting more users than their previous attempts did.
Paramount Pictures is the only one of the six major studios that isn’t joining Movies Anywhere, because of a disagreement over financial terms, although they are reportedly supportive of the idea and may join later.
Disney Movies Anywhere uses a proprietary storage technology called KeyChest to let customers store and access movies at a single site, whether they’re purchased from iTunes, Amazon.com, Google, or Wal-Mart.
UltraViolet offers a competing product: an online locker with movies and TV shows from Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, Sony, Paramount, 20th Century Fox and dozens of other providers. Apparently UltraViolet isn’t performing as well as hoped, leading the studios to take another shot at the concept by backing Disney’s product.