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Disney Shuts Down Online Movie Service

Disney Logo - H 2011

As it works on a new product called Disney Movies Anywhere, the company will shutter a 3-year-old service that hasn't kept up with the times.

Disney confirmed Tuesday that it is shutting Disney Movies Online, a relatively low-tech and little-used service where consumers can buy films from Disney’s and Pixar’s libraries and stream digital copies from discs they have purchased.

A message posted on the product’s website Tuesday informed visitors that the service would close Dec. 31 and that refunds for movies purchased or upgraded at DMO would be available.

Disney launched DMO three years ago, but the service never caught on and upgrades have not kept up with technological advances. The company is working on a superior product dubbed Disney Movies Anywhere, but insiders say the shuttering of DMO does not indicate that DMA is close to launching.

Among the many limitations DMO had that will be corrected for DMA will be the ability to stream and download Disney movies across multiple devices.

Without DMO and in advance of DMA, though, it’s still easy to find Disney movies available digitally from multiple Internet sources such as iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu.

A Disney insider said much of the work done of behalf of DMO was outsourced to another company, so no Disney jobs are threatened as a result of the service being shuttered.

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