Disney has launched a cloud-based movie service with Apple so buyers of its movies can view them digitally on multiple Apple devices. The service – Disney Movies Anywhere -will be available in the US initially.
As rival studios and consumer electronics groups have backed Ultra Violet Disney and Apple have preferred a more proprietary and contained cloud-based system limited to Apple’s store and devices.
The Disney service will apply to about 420 titles released by Disney and its Marvel and Pixar brands. Consumers who sign up will receive a “digital movie locker” and will be able to fill it with titles after connecting it with their Apple iTunes account.
Disney and Apple have enjoyed a close relationship for most of the past decade. Disney was the first studio in Hollywood to make its television and film programming available to download and buy on iTunes when Apple launched its online store. Steve Jobs sold Pixar to Disney in 2006 for $7.4 billion, a deal that made him the company’s largest individual shareholder.
Disney has been selling DVDs with a unique code since 2008: purchasers of those DVDs will be able to redeem them in the new rights locker, allowing them to view the movies electronically on iPads, iPhones or via Apple TV boxes.