Perhaps working with Ricky Gervais on Muppets Most Wanted has benefited the Muppets – nay, all of us — in so many ways that it will take decades of sequels for us to fully realize them all. Fortunately, there may be one that we can realize just ahead of the Blu-ray release, and it is called ‘Disney Drive-On’ with the Muppets.
I had the pleasure meeting Walt Disney Studios Chief Technology Officer Jamie Voris via a teleconference yesterday evening during which he guided me step by step through the iOS version of ‘Disney Movies Anywhere’ (formerly Disney Studio All Access), the company’s hotly anticipated digital rights system for movie portability. Built upon a foundation of Disney’s proprietary digital rights management system, KeyChest, Voris explained that the key is modularity. Although the system is being launched as ‘Phase One’ with support for desktops (Flash video) and Apple iOS devices via iTunes, it should be straightforward for them to partner with any content provider on most devices. The app even supports Apple TV via iCloud and AirPlay support. The service officially launched today, coinciding with the digital release of Frozen as well as the Blu-ray release of Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World.
Pictured here is the illustration used in several recently filed trademark applications filed by The Walt Disney Company. Just from the looks of it, three things are very clear: (1) it prominently features the Disney ‘D’ logo; (2) it contains a portion of what appears to be a filmstrip; and (3) the shape and outline of the illustration strongly suggests a mobile app, be it iOS, Android or both.
More importantly, the illustration accompanied several trademark applications for the following uses:
- Authentication, issuance, and validation of digital certificates and codes; Computer security services in the nature of providing an internet trust center, namely, computer security assurance and administration of digital certificates and codes
With the home video release of Oz the Great and Powerful on June 11, 2013, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will be launching a new service, ‘Digital Copy Plus.’ Taking a cue from the Disney Movies Anywhere initiative, in which consumers will be able to purchase a film and stream it across multiple devices, the Digital Copy Plus replaces the digital copy disc previously offered and transfers it into the cloud, so consumers can choose how and where the digital copy is stored/accessed from.
Though it’s been promoting the program for well over a year and has even since changed the name of it, it appears that The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) may be finally ready to unveil its ‘Disney Movies Anywhere’ (formerly ‘Disney Studios All Access’) initiative.
Based on Disney’s own proprietary technology dubbed Keychest, DMA will allow customers to purchase a single copy of a Disney title and subsequently be able to watch it across all devices on an on-demand basis. A competing technology, UltraViolet — which is backed by movie studios other than Disney — has been available for some time, but has not been well received overall by its customers. TWDC CEO Bob Iger has suggested in the past that he would allow UltraViolet to be the trailblazer and potentially gauge their market reaction to help mold that of Disney’s own.
Still attempting to keep the new name for its movie cloud a secret, Walt Disney Studios has officially stopped promoting the service which allows consumers to play back movies across all devices as being called ‘Disney Studio All Access’ (DSAA). The DSAA teaser site (dsaa.com) now points to http://disney.go.com/movies-rewards-more which features a new, abbreviated version of the teaser video featuring the song ‘Everything At Once’ by Lenka. The new video makes no reference to ‘Disney Studio All Access,’ nor the replacement name we’ve been reporting of ‘Disney Movies Anywhere.’ Instead the video promises simply ‘movies, extras, rewards and much, much more’ and advises the viewer to visit MoviesRewardsMore.com which is owned by Disney but is not yet operational despite the video being on a well known page.
Last month, we offered up evidence that Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) proprietary digital film access system, once known as Disney Studio All Access, had undergone a name change to now be known as ‘Disney Movies Anywhere.’ Although DISNEYMOVIESANYWHERE.COM ultimately goes to the DSAA preview site (via disneymoviesanywhere.disney.go.com) and the company has kindly removed the website pictured here (which was never at the aforementioned domain name ironically enough).
Despite making changes to hide the new name, however, the Walt Disney Company formally filed several trademark applications last week for ‘Disney Movies Anywhere’ for the following areas:
- Online retail store services
Though it has yet to show any sign of life beyond advertisements which began a year ago at the Disney D23 Expo and subsequent home video releases, it appears the Disney Studio All Access program is still alive and kicking behind-the-scenes only now it will be known as ‘Disney Movies Anywhere.’
Not surprisingly, Disney (NYSE:DIS) has been tight-lipped on the program, which allows customers to buy a Disney title once and then play it back across all devices from anywhere. There has been nary a mention since Robert Iger stated Disney is maintaining a ‘wait and see’ attitude in response to the launch of its main competition, UltraViolet, which has been falling way short of wowing its customers thus far.