Apple, Google Set Disney Video Deal

Walt Disney Co. has achieved something that many in Hollywood—and Silicon Valley—have been attempting for years: Getting Apple Inc. and Google Inc. to play nicely together.

In an unprecedented agreement to share rights to digital content, the two tech giants will allow consumers who buy a Disney DIS, +0.36% 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.

Until now, Apple AAPL, +1.30% has restricted movies, TV shows and other content to its own family of iOS devices, along with Mac or Windows computers. Google GOOG, -0.69% placed similar restriction on its digital store and Android-powered devices.

Such a strategy can help to lock consumers into one hardware company, but Hollywood studios have long argued that it makes people wary of buying digital movies because they must worry that if they buy a different device, their film library will disappear. DVDs, by contrast, work on players built by any manufacturer.

Both Apple and Google will pay Disney a wholesale rate for each copy of a film that they sell and keep any profits, regardless of the devices on which people watch.

“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.”

Source: MarketWatch

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