Movies Anywhere’s digital closet app is shutting down “Screen Pass” and “Watch Together” features
Movies Anywhere, the Disney-owned app that allows users to access their digitally owned movie collection from multiple services, is shutting down two of its features, “Screen Pass” and “Watch Together.”
Launched in 2020, Screen Pass allows the rental of three films within the application per month, which recipients can then watch for up to 72 hours. Starting May 1, users will no longer be able to share purchased movies with friends and family. Cord Cutters News first noticed the change.
“At Movies Anywhere, we’re constantly making changes to the website and app to help our users enjoy and grow their collections,” the company wrote on its website. “As the experience continues to evolve, we’d like to let you know that starting May 1st, users will no longer be able to use Screen Pass to send Screen Passes. For screen tickets sent before May 1st, recipients can still accept and finish watching the movie before their pass expires. As of June 1st, the Screen Pass function is no longer supported.
Movies Anywhere announced in a separate post that it will also be shutting down the “Watch Together” feature on June 1. Essentially a viewing option, the feature is a synchronized viewing experience where up to nine friends can send a room code or URL to watch the same movie at the same time.
The company didn’t give a specific reason for removing these features, but said it will focus on the experiences users are “most passionate about,” including expanding the movie collection and watching movies on multiple platforms. Basically, it seems like not enough people have used Screen Pass or Watch Together.
TechCrunch has reached out to Movies Anywhere for comment.
While watching movies together and sharing movies were once popular trends, especially during the pandemic, more and more people are returning to movie theaters or hosting IRL parties at home. 2023 ticket sales topped $958 million as of Feb. 27, compared to 2021’s $98.7 million, according to media measurement and analysis firm Comscore.
Also, the digital film space is no longer so fashionable and streaming services are taking the spotlight. The streaming market is a nearly $60 billion business, with giants like Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max serving millions of subscribers.
Movies Anywhere (formerly Disney Movies Anywhere) launched in 2014 and provides a single hub for digital movie collectors to access all movies purchased from iTunes, Vudu, Prime Video, YouTube and Xfinity, among other services. In 2017, it was co-produced by Disney, Universal, The WB, Sony Pictures, and 20th Century Fox.
The most recent feature was “My Lists,” an AI-driven feature that launched in 2021. My Lists automatically organizes movies by genre, actors, franchise, and more.