Microsoft is in Talks to Join Movies Anywhere

Posted on March 14, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox One, Mobile, iOS, Android, Music + Videos, Microsoft Movies & TV, Windows 10 with 45 Comments

Microsoft is in Talks to Join Movies Anywhere

As you may know, Microsoft’s Movies & TV service was left out in the cold when Disney expanded Movies Anywhere to include multiple content providers. But that will likely change, I was told.

“Microsoft is committed to delivering rich entertainment experiences to our customers,” a Microsoft spokesperson told me. “And we’re in discussions with Movies Anywhere about bringing their service onboard.”

If you’re not clear what that means, you can refer back to my October 2017 post, Disney’s Movies Anywhere is Anywhere But Microsoft. At that time, I explained that the Movies Anywhere service, which supports content from Disney, Fox, Sony Pictures, Universal and Warner Bros., works with virtually every digital video service and device there is. Except Microsoft’s.

In the meantime, Movies & TV is still a great place for Windows 10 and Xbox One users to rent movies or buy TV show episodes.

“On Microsoft Movies & TV [today], customers can rent or buy any of the nearly 200,000 entertainment options to stream on their Xbox or Windows-based devices,” I was told.

And what about mobile devices? Obviously, accessing purchased or rented Movies & TV content on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets would be huge. But Microsoft had nothing to share on that front, sorry.

But look at it this way: If Microsoft does join Movies Anywhere, you will be able to access your content via that mobile app on Android and iOS. So Movies Anywhere compatibility would actually solve both problems.


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Comments (45)

45 responses to “Microsoft is in Talks to Join Movies Anywhere”

  1. kenspencerbrown

    "In the meantime, Movies & TV is still a great place for Windows 10 and Xbox One users to rent movies or buy TV show episodes."

    It might be fine for renting movies, but without Movies Anywhere, it's a horrible place for buying them. Given Microsoft's long history of abandoning its content services and the (Windows- and Xbox-only) platform limitations of the Movies & TV app, it doesn't make sense to buy movies there. In fact, it doesn't really make sense to buy digital movies from any service that doesn't support Movies Anywhere.

    • jbinaz

      In reply to kenspencerbrown:

      I tend to agree, that I would hesitate to buy anything. But I do find it curious that MS is in talks to join Movies Anywhere. I would think they wouldn't be in talks to do it if they planned on bailing out of the market completely. Unless, of course, this is a way to let people that have already bought content not lose that content and they stop selling movies/TV.

    • Stooks

      In reply to kenspencerbrown:

      There is simply NO WAY I would buy any video content from Microsoft. My Xbox One X is plugged into a 27inch 4K gaming monitor and I am not going to sit at it and watch a movie. Secondly I want mobile options.

      I buy my digital movies from iTunes. I can then watch them one of our Apple TV's, one out iPad's, my iPhone or any computer running iTunes. The Chance of Apple closing down their movie renting/selling in the next 1 or 2 (average abandoned Microsoft product) is slim to none.

      • Costanza

        In reply to Stooks:

        The whole point of Movies Anywhere is you can buy a movie from any of the vendors and then get granted a license on the other services. So you buy a movie on itunes you could then watch it on Windows 10 or xbox if you want to. People just like to complain I guess. Glad MS is trying to join the service.

        • thisisdonovan

          In reply to Costanza:

          Until they lose interest and abandon it.

        • Stooks

          In reply to Costanza:

          Here is the problem....I have never even heard of "Movies Anywhere" until a month ago.

          Why....well they only came out in October of 2017. So I looked them up when I heard about them. Way to many limitations. Only US (Movies Anywhere???), Not all studio's, no 4K, no TV shows or rentals, can only download for a specific amount of time...etc...etc.

          Microsoft is probably using them so you can keep your purchase from the Microsoft store and then they can shut all that down and you can still access them via this service.

          Lastly what does this company get for this free service? All kinds of account information will be stored that is for sure, so it can login all over the place and sync stuff. Hopefully they have great security!! Does it work with 2factor turned on for these accounts (Apple, Google, Microsoft?). Are they getting anything else? Location data? What you watch and when? Who are they sharing all that with?

          I say use Amazon, Apple or Google and buy movies from them because none of them are going to be shutting down their services anytime soon.

          • Brian Aurich

            In reply to Stooks:

            That's the point of it though, once the license for the movies syncs through Movies Anywhere, the movie will show up in any of those services. So buy it on Amazon and it will show up in your library in Google and Apple. My Xbox One has been my media machine for a long time and is an easy way to buy movies. With Movies Anywhere integration I can then get that content just about anywhere, on any device and from nearly every provider.

  2. gregsedwards

    I just bought The Last Jedi through MMTV last night, complaining the whole time about how they're no longer connected to Movies Anywhere. Let's hope that if/when they do re-connect, my past purchases will be added to my MA vault.

  3. atulmarathe

    In "Yes Minister", the minister's secretary explains him the difference - "We're looking into it", means we've lost the file, and "We're actively looking into it". means we're trying to find it.

    And no, I'm not saying that when Microsoft say they're "committed" to something, it means they're going to cancel it, and when they are "fully committed", they're trying to find a replacement for it - that's you jumping to conclusion.

  4. Lars lalaa

    I like the idea of MA but without studios like MGM, Paramount, Lionsgate and smaller studios it’s kind of incomplete. I’ve subscribed to Netflix and rent/buy stuff on iTunes sometimes. It’s still nice MS plans to join and always good giving consumers more options to choose from. The whole movie thing was a mess for such a long time.

    MA with all studios on top of Plex would be kind of the ultimate for movies because you could also include your local content. So far I’m running home sharing feature on Apple TV for that. I hope they include the Library into TV app like on iOS and fully support Netflix on it as well. You never get this complete package unfortunately. Something is always missing :) 

  5. Rug

    This is great news! Now, if they would just extend the rental time period to 32 hours, I would rent movies here instead of keeping my Netflix disk subscription. My problem is it takes 2 nights to watch a movie (wife falls asleep) and 24 hours ends at the time I started the movie the night before, which is the time we can continue watching again, so renting is a no go. :)

  6. Bats

    THIS SERVICE IS AWESOME. This is a breath of fresh air to all those Microsoft fans who just had to buy their movies at the Microsoft store, because it's from Microsoft.

    Like I have said in the past, I have bought digital movies from Amazon and Google. I also bought actual Blu Ray discs, on the condition that I would have access to the digital UltraViolet version on Vudu. Thanks to MoviesAnywhere, all those movies from Amazon, Google, and Vudu are accessible on ...... *trumpet sounds* ..... Amazon, Google Play, and Vudu ....AND MoviesAnywhere. There is really nothing to think about, when it comes to this. You sign up, you're life is easier. PERIOD.

  7. glenn8878

    Why run it off a $700 PC when a $30 Roku already has it? PCs are old news.

    • Brian Aurich

      In reply to glenn8878:

      Because that Roku stick doesn't work on a airplane flight. But with Movies and TV, I can pre-download movies to my PC (laptop, surface) to watch on a flight, vacation, or stream them when my kids are using our TV. The whole point is the content is available from all the major providers for any device you want to watch it on. My Xbox One S is my main media machine on TV as well.

  8. PeteB

    Why bother, they'll just abandon it like groove.

  9. Sherlitt

    Make $2000-$5000 a week, all you need to do is to learn about Emini S&P Trading Secret, check out the website and you will know how it is working very well. I can assure you this because I’m earning now with it. 

  10. bella

    That would be good news for Movies & Tv lovers in USA but not for others. We still have to depend on apps like Terrarium tv to watch movies. Netflix is great but only a few movies are available.

  11. stevenlack

    Thank God. I hope so. I actually quite like the service they have.

  12. Chill_Carlos

    Thanks for the update. I was just searching for any news about this yesterday.

  13. ldsands

    As much as people rag on this service it has really good deals regularly and it's the only service I know of that will let me download full movies offline on my laptop (for long road trips).

    • alexoughton

      In reply to ldsands:

      Vudu (which is part of Movies Anywhere) will also let you do this.

    • JCerna

      In reply to ldsands:

      Microsoft movies you can also download for offline use. The main issue I have is the fact that you don't really own the movie and you get no discount for owning a SD or HD version to upgrade it to 4k. Heck it's not even possible, I once saw two movies on sale in HD that I had purchased in SD. Microsoft would not let me buy it.

  14. JacobTheDev

    Very pleased to hear this, I've got some movies locked in Movies & TV that I'd like to get out. Really wish there was something like this for TV shows too!

  15. MattHewitt

    I would still never purchase a movie through Microsoft. Just because they're part of this program doesn't mean that you can transfer the license to a different service. If you purchase a movie through Microsoft, your license is with them, and then the license is synced with the other services so you can access your movies on the other services. If Microsoft decided to discontinue Movies and TV, your license would disappear out of the other services unless Microsoft makes a special arrangement with the other services.

    • gregsedwards

      In reply to MattHewitt:

      I realize that the licensing may be different under MA. However, that was not my experience in the past when MMTV was connected to DMA. All of my previous MMTV-purchased content that was available via DMA(which is to say the Disney-owned titles, like Star Wars and Marvel) continued to be available to me through DMA (now MA), even after Microsoft was removed from that service. They also continue to be available to me on partner platforms, such as Google Play/YouTube, Amazon, Vudu, and Apple. I think that's kind of the point of the federation approach.

      • jrickel96

        In reply to gregsedwards:

        Exactly this. I think once it's registered with your Movies Anywhere account, it's registered.

      • MattHewitt

        In reply to gregsedwards:

        Weird, it's always been my understanding that what I stated would be what happens, but it looks like nobody is implementing that policy. I wonder if it is up to the company that sells you the movie to revoke the license sync, and that no company is doing that. I wonder if Microsoft has to pay Disney to be a part of the program, or how that all works. I do love Movies Anywhere, I just still think caution is necessary, especially if it is cancelled in the future.

        Also people need to keep in mind that not every movie syncs. So if you were to buy something through Microsoft like the new Star Trek movies or Mission Impossible, they would be orphaned to Microsoft only as Paramount doesn't participate in the Movies Anywhere program. (Yet)

  16. davidblouin

    That would be good news for Movies & Tv customers in the USA . For others well, your still screwed...

    • maethorechannen

      In reply to davidblouin:

      I think they should put an asterisk after anywhere the way ISPs put asterisks after unlimited, because it's not really anywhere.

    • NazmusLabs

      In reply to davidblouin:

      Actually, that might have something to do with why Disney dropped Microsoft from Movies Anywhere. In the past, videos and movies you purchased on Microsoft's Zune/Xbox Video app were locked to the country you purchased it in. Today, all your content goes with you even if you change region. This allowed me to continue to access my Disney Movies Anywhere content when I moved to Canada. If this loophole was discovered by the general public, it could have been abused like crazy. And I don't want to guess what Disney would do if they found out (assuming they didn't).

      If this deal goes through, we might see a reversion of the way Movies & TV content licensing works. I am only guessing. And Allah knows best.

  17. Stooks

    Not to sound totally negative.....but honestly who cares at this point???

    Anyone holding out for a Microsoft consumer solution for music and video needs to a get a BIG FAT clue. It won't happen and even if it does it will be half hearted and ultimately canceled in a short time period.

    I had the original iPod that was first available for Windows users. However I was a Microsoft fan so I got a Zune, a brown one no less and later a Zune 16 as well. I then got a Windows Phone 7, the Samsung Focus. Then Microsoft canceled the Zune, and then my Samsung focus was a dead end, never to get Windows Phone 8. I moved back to Apple for phone, music and video content.

    I can't trust Microsoft with this area of tech (audio/video) and even if I could there are so many "actual" other choices that are better and get updated on a regular basis.

    • NazmusLabs

      In reply to Stooks:

      According to internal reports, while they are not focusing on media content, it's reported that it's not too costly for Microsoft to keep the Movies & TV running. The problem with Groove music pass was that it was draining money. A music subscription costs companies a lot of money because of the unlimited offerings. Enough people need to subscribe to make the company profit. With purchased-based system, like in Movies & TV, though, it doesn't cost Microsoft much to keep the catelog because royalties (to my understanding) are paid when a user makes a purchase of a specefic content. So if not a lot of people are buying stuff, so be it. But if people are buying content, that buyer's purchase price typically includes the royalty fee, meaning the buyer pays the royalty.

      This is why Microsoft killed off Groove and not Movies & TV. It doesn't explain, however, why Microsoft killed off Music purchases from the Store, however. I am personally happy Microsoft left the music industry. I dispise that industry.

      • Maktaba

        In reply to NazmusLabs:

        And there were not enough Groove subscriptions because there were not enough Windows phones. Groove died because Windows phone died.

      • Brian Mueller

        In reply to NazmusLabs: That would be understandable IF it was just the Groove steaming service, but they killed the ala cart music purchasing too. If they had cancelled Groove streaming only, or even better just subcontracted to Spotify (Groove by Spotify?) and kept the ala cart music and music tab in the store, it wouldn't have been so disconcerting. Individual purchase audio tracks shouldn't be any different than the Ala cart Video.

    • thisisdonovan

      In reply to Stooks:

      Sadly, I completely agree. I've bought into multiple microsoft products only to get burnt repeatedly.... windows phone, band, unlimited onedrive storage with office 365... the fact is their attention span is extremely short unless it involves azure or office. They're just unreliable with anything consumer-centric. Don't hold your breath for surface to stick around.

  18. krish181

    Microsoft is coming with Movies and TV Streaming App to Android and iOS

    And now that they officially announced windows phone is dead, I would think that they would have an option to allow people that purchased movies via the microsoft store to watch the movies on android or iphone. After they killed groove, they partnered

    with spotify to move all playlists. Seems like they should either create an app or partner with vudu. Its getting to be a nuiscance and very costly to be loyal to Microsoft.