Disney to shutter online movie store, website

Nov 19, 2012

(AP)—The Walt Disney Co. is shutting down its Web movie service, Disney Movies Online, saying the site wasn't keeping up with user demands.

In an email to users, the company said the site would be closed as of Dec. 31.

The site allowed visitors to buy and rent movies from the Disney library, including films made by its subsidiary Pixar. It also allowed people who purchased physical discs to stream the movies from the website.

On Monday, movies on the site no longer appeared to be available for purchase or rental. The site said people who had already redeemed disc purchases can continue to stream the movies on the site through the end of the year. People who bought movies on the site previously are being offered refunds.

"The digital environment is rapidly evolving and Disney Movies Online does not have the flexibility that many users today demand," a Disney spokesperson said in a statement. "We made a business decision to close the service until we are able to provide the greatest value and experience to our customers."

Disney did not announce when its expected replacement service, Disney Movies Anywhere, would be launched.

Disney Movies Online did not attract many customers and had limited capabilities. Users couldn't download their digital movies for offline playback, there was no support for connected devices like game consoles, and it only offered movies for streaming on Web browsers.

Disney is the only studio of the six Hollywood majors that has declined to participate in UltraViolet, a standard that gives consumers the ability to view their movie purchases on multiple devices. It is developing its own technology called KeyChest that performs a similar function.

Studios hope that giving consumers the ability to do more with their movie purchases will help boost sales.

Since launching in October of last year, UltraViolet has had about 6 million people sign up.

For the nine months through September, U.S. sales of DVD and Blu-ray discs were down 3.8 percent at $5.4 billion, according to the industry consortium, The Digital Entertainment Group.

More people are turning to subscription video services like Netflix and digital rentals through video-on-demand services connected to their TVs. When factoring in digital forms of movie consumption, U.S. home video revenue is up 1 percent at $12.3 billion this year.

Explore further: Record labels sue Pandora over older songs

3 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Disney comes to YouTube

Nov 23, 2011

Disney films were available for rent on YouTube on Wednesday in the latest bid by the Google-owned website to transform into an online stage for the gamut of digital video content.

Sony's 'Smurfs,' 'Friends' to be UltraViolet-ready

Sep 21, 2011

(AP) -- Sony Corp.'s movie studio said Tuesday that "The Smurfs" and "Friends With Benefits" will be the first movies it releases on home video that will be compatible with the UltraViolet view-anywhere system.

Disney iPhone app makes photos the key to content

Oct 28, 2009

(AP) -- The Walt Disney Co. is releasing an iPhone application that rewards users for poking through the Disney.com Web site and could one day offer exclusive bonuses for activities such as shopping at Disney Stores.

Recommended for you

Weibo IPO below expectations, raises $285.6 mn

14 hours ago

Sina Weibo sold fewer shares than expected in its US IPO which was priced below expectations ahead of a Thursday listing that takes place after tech selloffs on Wall Street.

'Chief Yahoo' David Filo returns to board

15 hours ago

Yahoo announced the nomination of three new board members, including company co-founder David Filo, who earned the nickname and formal job title of "Chief Yahoo."

Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work

15 hours ago

Yahoo's recently fired chief operating officer, Henrique de Castro, left the Internet company with a severance package of $58 million even though he lasted just 15 months on the job.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Researchers discover target for treating dengue fever

Two recent papers by a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and colleagues may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other ...