Movies Anywhere is a fantastic service, unless you’re on Xbox.
However, allow me to give you a couple of glimmers of hope.
Before we begin, a primer: Before it was Movies Anywhere, the service was called Disney Movies Anywhere. The service was a central hub for all of the Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars movies you ever purchased across different retailers. Bargain hunters, I’m sure, loved this because you could go find your favorite movies at the best price, and still have it appear on all of your services.
At the time, Microsoft Movies & TV was a partner in this service. Other services, such as Google Play and iTunes, were also on board. Behind the scenes, Disney was working with these retailers and other movie studios to expand the Movies Anywhere idea to include as many feature films as possible.
Prior to the release of Movies Anywhere, Microsoft was dropped as a retail partner. This was alarming because with the push away from consumer offerings, that Microsoft was doing, plus the shadow whispers (and eventual coming true) of Groove Music’s sunset, Movies & TV looked to be winding its way down.
So.. Movies Anywhere launches. You can now connect movies from iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, VUDU, Google Play, and FandangoNow. Participating studios (as of now) are Disney, Universal, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, and 20th Century Fox. This won’t include most smaller film studios, and nothing from Paramount or Lionsgate.
And still, Movies & TV isn’t part of the equation. It’s causing a strain with people who have invested in movies with the service (including me), and frankly gives Movies Anywhere one less tuner to launch their service.
Tip: If you currently use Movies Anywhere, you of course know that the Movies Anywhere app isn’t on Xbox. You can however use Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, or VUDU to watch your Movies Anywhere-enabled content – it just won’t include any movies you’ve purchased via Microsoft Movies & TV.
Understand one other thing. Movies Anywhere doesn’t have an app on Windows 10, broadly speaking. If you want to watch Movies Anywhere titles, on a PC, you need to use their website.
Since the launch of Movies Anywhere, the service has been praised for being able to allow people to keep their movies more centralized. Personally, I love the service and I find myself buying more movies (the ultimate goal of Movies Anywhere) and watching them during lunch breaks or relaxing at home.
So, about those glimmers of hope…
When Movies Anywhere first launched, the General Manager, of the service, Karin Gilford did an interview with CNET. She was specifically asked if this service was coming to consoles such as Xbox and Playstation. While Gilford gives the coy “We want to be everywhere our customers are.” I read that as “Of course, we will.”
Secondly, Paul Thurrott had written a story that discussions were taking place between Microsoft and Movies Anywhere. There’s no clear explanation about why Microsoft’s movie marketplace was dropped in the first place, but it bodes well for both entities to have each other’s services on board.
Finally, Xbox One S and One X continue to make a small (but substantive) push as entertainment devices. They’re already falling behind by not having some of the recent services available on the platform (DisneyNow, DirecTV Now, Movies Anywhere, etc). Movies Anywhere would be a nice boost for the platform.
So, for my money, Movies Anywhere will eventually be on Xbox. I would say sooner rather than later. I would also expect to see it on Playstation, and never say never with the Nintendo Switch.
For Movies Anywhere to be successful, they need to live up to their name. They pretty much need to be everywhere Netflix is located, since the service is built as your own personal Netflix.
So keep the faith, people. Sometimes it’s hard, but I see light at the end of the tunnel…at the very least, I still see crumbs that lead the way.