DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group on June 5 kicked off a new mentoring program, “4 Cups of Coffee,” at the “Cocktails & Coffee” event at Sony Studios in the Norman Lear Commissary. Under the program, the DEG’s Canon Club will match women in search of mentors with one of its advisors or other women executives for 30-minute career conversations, either in person or over the phone, up to four times per year. The Canon Club was established by DEG to provide women at all levels and in all sectors of digital media the opportunity to share knowledge and build their business networks. Last month, the DEG announced the appointment of 10 advisory board members to provide input on Canon Club event programming, rotate as host at speaker-driven salons and social/networking events, serve as founding mentors in the “4 Cups of Coffee” program, and judge the annual Hedy Lamarr Awards for Women in Entertainment and Technology, among other responsibilities. The advisory board is led by chair Robin Tarufelli of Deloitte, and vice chair Meri Hassouni of Giant Interactive. Other members are Loren Nielsen, DTS; Sofia Chang, HBO; Dametra Johnson-Marletti, Microsoft; Karin Gilford, Movies Anywhere; Andrea Downing, PBS Distribution; Cheryl Goodman, Sony Electronics; Nadia Haney, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment; and Darcy Antonellis, Vubiquity. Other Canon Club mentors include Beth Kearns, 20th Century Fox; Heathyr Jozel-Garcia, ABC Studios; Samara Winterfeld, DTS; Ken Williams, ETC@USC; Kejo Swingler, HBO; and Rachel Crang, Paramount Pictures.
Digital movie collection service Movies Anywhere on Dec. 5 added Comcast’s Xfinity Digital Store as its seventh digital retail partner.
Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Apple’s iTunes and Walmart’s Vudu were partnered with the service at launch last October. FandangoNow, Fandango’s on-demand video service, came aboard in March, joined in August by Microsoft Movies and TV.
Comcast’s 22 million Xfinity TV subscribers are now able to synchronize their accounts with Movies Anywhere, combine eligible movie purchases from the Xfinity Digital Store with those from other Movies Anywhere digital retailers, and access them on Xfinity X1, the Xfinity Stream app and other Xfinity TV platforms.
Comcast is the first pay-TV provider to join Movies Anywhere. For a limited time, consumers who sync for the first time with Xfinity or one of the other participating digital retailers will receive a free digital copy of Happy Feet, a 2006 computer-animated musical family film with a domestic box office gross of nearly $200 million. Those who sync for the first time with two digital retailers also receive digital copies of The Martian and The Fate of the Furious.
“Comcast is one of the country’s leading pay-TV providers, with a customer base that, like ours, consists of people who are passionate about the movies they love,” said Karin Gilford, general manager of Movies Anywhere. “We are thrilled to now include Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers among those who can benefit from Movies Anywhere’s ability to bring their favorite movies together in one place that can be accessed across a multitude of devices using the Movies Anywhere app and across Xfinity TV platforms.”
“Xfinity X1 is the only platform that provides customers with seamless, integrated access to all of their entertainment choices within one user interface, whether that content is live, on demand, streamed, recorded, rented or owned,” said Daniel Spinosa, VP of entertainment services at Comcast Cable. “And by joining Movies Anywhere, Xfinity TV customers can now easily link their accounts across participating digital retailers and watch their consolidated digital library on X1, or anywhere in the country via the Xfinity Stream app and portal.”
With the addition of Comcast to the Movies Anywhere lineup, Movies Anywhere collections owned by the cable company’s customers will be accessible for the first time directly on the TV through Xfinity On Demand, and on devices via the Xfinity Stream app and web portal. All Movies Anywheres users are also able to access their collections via the Movies Anywhere app and web portal on an array of additional platforms.
One of the top digital retailers for new releases, the Xfinity Digital Store offers Xfinity TV customers the ability to easily purchase and access thousands of movies, many featuring enhanced extras via X1 and across devices via the Xfinity Stream app and web portal.
Movies Anywhere is backed by five Hollywood studios — Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures (including Focus Features, DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment), The Walt Disney Studios (including Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm) and Warner Bros. Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate are not part of the service, which also does not feature television programming.
In October, Movies Anywhere celebrated its one-year anniversary, announcing that since launch fans have streamed more than 35 million movies on more than 100 different devices. The service turned 1 with 6 million registered users, 150 million movies collected and more than 1 billion minutes viewed.
Movies Anywhere in February 2018 won Media Play News‘ inaugural “Fast Forward” award, honoring people, technologies, organizations, products or services that move the home entertainment industry forward. The awards are an outgrowth of the Home Entertainment Visionary Awards, which were launched in 2002 by the now-defunct Home Media Magazine. Comcast’s Brian Roberts was the 2017 honoree.
Movies Anywhere also was nominated for “Fan Favorite App” in the Google Play Best of 2018 Awards.
Consumer spending on digital purchases of movies, TV shows and other filmed content rose 18% in the third quarter of this year compared with the same quarter in 2017, a significant uptick from the single-digit gains posted in prior years, according to DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.
Digital movie collection service Movies Anywhere has added FandangoNow, Fandango’s on-demand video service, as its fifth digital retail partner.
Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu were partnered with the service at launch last year.
FandangoNow is available on more than 200 million connected devices. The deal allows consumers to incorporate digital movies purchased and redeemed through FandangoNow alongside their titles from other participating digital retailers.
“FandangoNow is a top retailer in the space. We think they are doing some really cool and innovative things,” said Karin Gilford, GM, Movies Anywhere. “It marks the progress that Movies Anywhere is making to continue on our path of launching the service on more platforms, adding retailers and content over time.”
“Movies Anywhere provides a great mechanism to further advance the move from physical disc to digital home entertainment by just reducing friction, reducing barriers for consumers to try digital,” said Fandango’s Adam Rockmore. “They can try it out at different retailers and then know that their library can be used on Movies Anywhere or any retailer of choice.”
Movies Anywhere has made digital movie collection easier than have past services, such as UltraViolet, he said.
“Interoperability is what UltraViolet tried, and I think this is a better direction ultimately,” Rockmore said. “We’re pleased to be part of it.”
Cloud-based movie collection service Movies Anywhere offers consumers access to a library of nearly 7,500 digital movies.
Consumers have used the app to store more than 100 million movies to date, Gilford said. At CES in January, the service, which launched in October 2017, had tallied 80 Million movies.
“I think it’s just a testament to the high-quality nature of what we launched and obviously to the demand for this sort of functionality,” Gilford said.
Movies Anywhere includes titles from Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Studios (encompassing Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm), Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures (including DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment) and Warner Bros. Paramount and Lionsgate are not yet participating studios.
“We continue to talk with all the additional content providers in the space,” Gilford said, adding that she’s “optimistic that they’ll join.”
Likewise, Movies Anywhere is talking to other digital retailers about joining the service.
“We are in talks with other retailers,” Gilford said. “We’re not ready to announce anyone else, but you can expect additional announcements in the retail space this year.”
To celebrate the partnership, Movies Anywhere has added profile picture options. Consumers who purchase Star Wars: The Last Jedi (due on digital March 13) can choose from the Rebel Alliance Starbird, a Stormtrooper or the First Order emblem as their avatar on the service.
Rockmore said FandangoNow wanted to tie the launch of the partnership to a big title, making the digital street date of Last Jedi the perfect opportunity. FandangoNow will be promoting the Movies Anywhere partnership on its site and via communications with consumers.