Movies Anywhere has been one of the best things to happen to digital movie ownership in quite some time, allowing purchases to sync between a variety of different platforms at no cost. But this week, the Disney-owned service announced that “Screen Pass,” the feature that allowed Movies Anywhere users to share a movie with friends or family, is being shut down.
Disney first launched Movies Anywhere back in 2014, and has built on the service considerably over time. In 2017, the service really got the spotlight, as it announced support for syncing movie purchases across Google Play, Apple’s iTunes, Amazon Video, and Vudu among other services. Microsoft then joined the fray in 2018.
In 2020, during the height of COVID-19 lockdowns, Movies Anywhere then announced Screen Pass.
Screen Pass was introduced as a feature that would allow users to share movies they had purchased with friends and family for a limited time. It required no password sharing, just a Movies Anywhere account and a link.
Now, Movies Anywhere is shutting the feature down. A notice on the Movies Anywhere website reveals that Screen Pass will be shut down starting on May 1, 2023. Any remaining passes sent to friends or family will continue to work until June 1, at which point the feature will be removed entirely.
The site explains:
At Movies Anywhere™, we are continually making changes to the website and app to help our users enjoy and grow their collections.
As the experience continues to evolve, we want to notify you that effective May 1 users will no longer be able to use the Screen Pass™ feature to send a Screen Pass. For Screen Passes sent prior to May 1, recipients will still be able to accept and finish watching the movie before their passes expire. As of June 1, the Screen Pass feature will no longer be supported.
We are committed to focusing on an experience which highlights the things our users are most passionate about, primarily growing their collections and watching their favorite movies across platforms and devices.
There’s no reason provided for why Screen Pass is being shuttered, but we’d speculate based on the phrasing used that the feature perhaps wasn’t all that popular. That’s a shame, as it really was a clever way to share content with friends and family without sharing passwords or using family sharing tools.
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