What with the recent Veronica Mars/UltraViolet debacle, you might think all studios still live in the dark ages, and just don’t get it. Thankfully, as I discovered with my purchase of Frozen—the kids’ “Dad, you gotta buy it!” movie of the month—not all studios opt for such an anti-consumer path.
Frozen is available for purchase via iTunes as well as traditional retailers. At the time I bought, iTunes was asking $20 (with iTunes Extras included), which is the same price BestBuy was asking for the Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy bundle.
With many recent releases only offering an UltraViolet digital copy, I was thrilled to see the iTunes logo right there on the DVD case; this cemented my decision to buy the store version. (I love the two-disc sets because I can put the DVD in the kids’ play room, and it’s not a big problem if it gets trashed, as we’ve got the good copy stored elsewhere.)
When I opened up the disc at home, though, I thought I might be seeing some sort of hideous UltraViolet sequel (UltraViolet II: Now Even More Infuriating!). Instead of a somewhat familiar iTunes code, the flyer inside directed me to the Frozen Digital Copy Plus website. Uh oh. But I was pleasantly surprised when the site loaded; instead of some UltraViolet-like hell, a clean simple interface asked me to type in the code on the flyer:
After entering the code, I encountered my second pleasant surprise—the ability to choose between various digital versions. The first choice is for Disney Movies Anywhere + iTunes, but you can also select iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Google Play, and Target’s Ticket (which I didn’t know existed until loading the site).
The alternative providers are set off on their own, with a note explaining that you won’t have to register for Disney Movies Anywhere to use them.
I clicked the iTunes (non Disney Movies Anywhere version), and got my final pleasant surprise: The website automatically switched to iTunes, entered the redemption code, and the download began—all without my doing anything more than clicking a button. The site even displayed a Confirm Redemption dialog box, offering the chance to redeem the movie again if something went wrong with the first attempt. (I didn’t get a chance to try, though, because it all worked perfectly.)
The entire process, not counting download time, took maybe 30 seconds after I opened the movie—and not once was I asked to login, create an account, or share any personal information. See, every other studio, it’s not hard to have consumers actually applaud your efforts, instead of cursing at them like a drunken sailor. Thanks, Disney, for doing it right.