In an unprecedented agreement to share rights to digital content, the two tech giants will allow consumers who buy a Disney movie from either of their online stores to watch it on smartphones, tablets and other digital devices that run their rival’s operating system. Starting Tuesday people who register with the Disney Movies Anywhere app and buy a copy of “Frozen” from the Google Play store on an Android tablet, for instance, can later watch the film on an Apple TV through their iTunes library.
Previously, if you would buy a title on the iTunes Store it would not be recognized in the Google Play store. This strategy locks customers into an eco-system but it's not good for Hollywood studios who say it makes people wary of buying digital movies.
The Journal notes that both Apple and Google will pay Disney a wholesale rate for each copy of a film that is sold and keep any of the profits, no matter which device is used to watch the film.
“This is about getting people comfortable with building their digital movies collection,” said Jamie Voris, chief technology officer at Walt Disney Studios. “Disney is going to protect them and make sure they can watch their movies wherever they want to.”
Every studio in Hollywood except for Disney is part of a coalition called Ultraviolet that lets people build a library of movies online without worrying about device restrictions. Apple and Google have refused to join the coalition.