Los Angeles Business Journal

Disney to Close Web Movie Service

By Deborah Crowe Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Walt Disney Co. quietly announced that it would close a little-used Internet movie service to make room for a new service.

The Burbank entertainment giant announced late Monday that the Disney Movies Online site, which allowed people to buy and rent movies from the Disney and Pixar libraries, would close on Dec. 31. Customers can continue to stream existing movies until then, but no longer can make purchases. The new service will be called Disney Movies Anywhere.

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

Disney Movies Online, which launched in 2009, was hampered by a lack of features available at competing services. Streaming was available only via Web browsers and not other devices such as game consoles. In addition, people were not able to download digital movies for offline playback.

Disney did not say when its new service would launch.

Disney shares on Tuesday closed up 53 cents, or 1 percent, to $48.44.