Movies Anywhere, the video platform that brings together a variety of services offering streaming and digital copies of Hollywood films, will soon have a new partner: Microsoft.
Microsoft Movies & TV, the Windows- and Xbox-based digital video service formerly known as Xbox Video, is joining Movies Anywhere this week. That’s according to a page that went live on Microsoft’s website this morning, as reported by The Verge.
It appears that someone jumped the gun on the announcement — Microsoft has since taken down the page, and it now redirects to an error message. But the welcome page on the Movies Anywhere website already features the Microsoft Movies & TV logo, suggesting that it is now one of the supported digital storefronts on the platform. However, it’s not currently possible to link a Microsoft account on the Movies Anywhere site. Presumably, this feature will go live once Microsoft makes its official announcement.
Asked for confirmation by Polygon, a Microsoft representative did not comment on the leaks, saying only that the company is “in discussions with Movies Anywhere about bringing their service onboard.” That’s the same statement that Microsoft has been giving about Movies Anywhere compatibility since March, when longtime Microsoft-focused blogger Paul Thurrott reported that the two companies were in talks.
Thankfully, Twitter user Wario64 grabbed evidence of the news before it disappeared. The page on Microsoft’s website said that customers will be able to link their Microsoft accounts with Movies Anywhere, enabling them to sync their Movies & TV purchases with Movies Anywhere and its partner platforms. This applies for existing collections of digital movies in the Movies & TV app, and for future purchases. The page also included a special offer: People who sync their Microsoft account with Movies Anywhere will receive X-Men: Days of Future Past for free.
Movies Anywhere, which is owned by Disney but includes films from all of the “Big Six” movie studios except Paramount Pictures, connects a number of digital storefronts for films, and currently supports Amazon Video, FandangoNow, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu. You can see a video that includes Microsoft Movies & TV as the sixth service below, thanks to The Verge’s Tom Warren.
Customers at any of the five supported platforms can link their respective accounts with Movies Anywhere to sync their digital movie collections across all of the services, as long as the films in question are available on those individual platforms. For instance, if you buy Star Wars: The Last Jedi on 4K Blu-ray and redeem the included digital copy on a Vudu account that you’ve hooked up to Movies Anywhere, you’ll be able to access the film through any of the storefronts you’ve linked — as well as the Movies Anywhere app. (Note that Movies Anywhere itself does not currently support 4K or HDR; if you own a 4K version of a movie, you’ll have to access it somewhere else to watch it at that resolution.)
Technically, this isn’t Microsoft’s first go-round with Movies Anywhere: Disney Movies Anywhere, the previous incarnation of the platform, became compatible with Microsoft Movies & TV in September 2015. However, that syncing support ended two years later, shortly before Disney relaunched the service as Movies Anywhere. As for Sony, the company’s PlayStation Video service is one of the few remaining storefronts that does not support Movies Anywhere. Polygon has asked Sony if it’s in discussions for Movies Anywhere compatibility, and we’ll update this article with any information we receive.
Update (Aug. 7, 1:03 a.m. ET): Microsoft has officially announced Movies Anywhere support for the Microsoft Movies & TV app. The Movies Anywhere page on the Microsoft website is live once again, and it indeed features the free offer of X-Men: Days of Future Past for linking your Movies Anywhere account.
That promotion runs from Aug. 6-28, and applies only to the HD version — not 4K — of the theatrical cut of the film, according to an FAQ on the Movies Anywhere site. In addition, Movies Anywhere is offering a free copy of the movie for syncing an account from any participating digital retailer for the first time; it doesn’t have to be a Microsoft account.