Disney's Keychest unlocks movies for any platform

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Disney is readying a technology that would let viewers pay a one-off fee for permanent access to a movie or TV show across multiple devices.

Named Keychest, the system would let people watch on anything from a TV to an iPhone, or via cable. The content wouldn't actually be downloaded; instead, in a could computing-like model, it would reside  with the service provider, cable company or phone company. When the movie is purchased, the user is given an access key.

Bob Chapek, president of home entertainment at Disney Studios, told the WSJ  that the company was taking the long view, and didn't expect Keychest to deliver tangible financial results for five years.

Keychest could be a bit of a problem for the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem initiative, which has been beavering away at a similar technique for just over a year. That group, which includes five major studios, has support from Intel.

ABC has also persuaded an insider at Disney to talk. "Packaged goods will co-exist with digital platforms," he said, adding that Disney is in talks with a number of technology partners.