Movies Anywhere to launch film sharing feature in beta

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All-in-one viewing service Movies Anywhere announced a new feature on Tuesday that will let users share up to three movies a month with others, though the feature may launch too late for current social distancing recommendations.

Movies Anywhere is a "digital locker" that allows users to combine purchases from various online storefronts, like iTunes, Amazon or Microsoft, into a single viewing service.

The new feature, dubbed Screen Pass, will let users temporarily share their movies with friends or family, giving them access to their titles without requiring any additional purchases or rentals. All recipients will need is a Movies Anywhere account and an Apple or Android mobile device.

Recipients of your shared films will get seven days to accept a share offer, then 14 days to access the film and 72 hours to finish watching it once they start. As mentioned earlier, three shares are provided per month, which will reset at the start of the next month. While there isn't a limit on many times an individual title can be shared, unused shares won't roll over to the next month.

Not every movie is compatible with Screen Pass, but the feature will launch in beta with more than 6,000 titles — roughly 80% of the movies available through Movies Anywhere-Compatible services. Which movies are supported will be determine by studios.

Along with Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, Movies Anywhere is backed by many major studios and streaming platforms, such as Disney (which owns it), Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox.

Screen Pass will launch in a closed beta with a small testing pool at 4 p.m. Eastern Time (1 p.m. Pacific) on Tuesday, with an open beta coming in early May.

A full rollout is slated for late summer or early fall, though a Movies Anywhere representative told CNET that the company is working to "roll it out early" if they can during these "unprecedented" circumstances.