Disney, Other Major Hollywood Studios Launch Movies Anywhere App

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Walt Disney (DIS) and a bevy of major Hollywood studios have teamed up in the launch of a free app and site that serves as a hub for viewers' digital movie libraries. Heads up,

Netflix (NFLX).

XAutoplay: On | OffMovies Anywhere is kicking off with more than 7,300 films from Walt Disney Studios;

Sony (SNE)-owned Sony Pictures; 20th Century Fox, owned by

21st Century Fox (FOXA);

Comcast (CMCSA)-owned Universal Pictures; and Warner Bros. Entertainment, owned by

Time Warner (TWX). The service can be viewed using

Amazon (AMZN) Video,

Alphabet (GOOGL)-owned Google Play,

Apple (AAPL) iTunes or Vudu.

Unlike Netflix, Movies Anywhere is not a subscription service but a digital locker for movies that users have purchased.

Movies Anywhere is not the first attempt by studios to create such a service. It follows UltraViolet, which didn't take off, and Disney Movies Anywhere. Movies Anywhere is built upon the same digital-rights system architecture as Disney's version of the service, according to The Verge.

Viewers will "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" on the service's library and made available across platforms, said Movies Anywhere General Manager Karin Gilford in a statement through Disney.

The service can be accessed through a variety of devices, including Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Roku, and Android and iOS devices. And users can get digital copy codes from Movies Anywhere for Blu-rays and DVDs they've bought.

To sweeten the launch and lure in new users, the service is offering viewers five free movies when they connect to two digital retailer accounts.

Separately, Disney is planning to launch a stand-alone streaming service.

Disney shares fell 1.6% in the stock market today, as Guggenheim downgraded the House of Mouse and cut its price target. Guggenheim cited heavy costs to compete with Netflix. Also,

AT&T (T) heightened pay TV concerns late Wednesday by disclosing pay-TV subscriber losses. That sent AT&T shares down 6.1% and undercutting key levels for its planned Time Warner takeover.

Comcast lost 3.9% to a nine-month low. Sony dipped 0.9% while Fox rose 0.1%

Netflix, which received a pair of price target hikes, rose 0.5%, still in buy range.


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