Digital movies can be expensive, even though you figure they should be cheaper than packaged media because there is no disc manufacturing process, printing of packaging, or distribution involved. With digital downloads and streaming video there seems to be only the cost of internet bandwidth.
While Blu-ray combos are still the best deal in town (usually with three different formats to choose from including Blu-ray, DVD (great for car DVD systems), and Digital HD copy), but if you’ve decided to trade in all your discs for digital only there are ways of finding digital copies for less than the list price.
Look for Sales
Digital services like iTunes, Amazon Video, Vudu and sometimes Google Play will have sales on digital movies. Often times those are categorized by a topic, genre, weekend sale, or holiday event such as “July 4th Deals.” Just be sure to get the HD version of the title (or UHD if you’ve got a 4k TV), because as your screen gets bigger you’ll want that extra resolution to hold the detail. We often post great deals we find here on HD Report.
Use an App
There are apps for Android and iOS that will bring you digital deals of the day like the 20th Century Fox “Movie of the Day” app for Apple mobile devices. You can set the app to notify you daily to take advantage of a digital deal. Typically, titles cost between $4.99 and $9.99. More recent movies might not seem like a deal, but there’s always a discount off the listed “Previous” price.
Take Advantage of Points Redemption
If you’ve ever used a code for a digital movie from a Blu-ray you may have noticed different studios have different rewards systems. Points can be redeemed for discounted or even free movies. Some examples of those include FOXRedeem, WB.com/redeemdigital, SonyRewards, and Disney’s RedeemDigitalMovie website. Many Blu-ray discs also include points to redeem theater tickets for currently showing films, and multiple offers on digital movie purchases.
Digital Reseller Communities
One way to build up your library quickly and inexpensively is through digital resellers. The name is really a misnomer though. Digital codes, once redeemed, can’t be used again. But if you’ve acquired a digital code with a disc purchase or by other means there is no legal disclaimer (at least on the packaging) that says you can’t give away or sell the codes. [Update: Please note some home media distributors have started including a no-transfer/no-sell disclaimer on the packaging of Blu-ray Disc, 4k Blu-rays and DVDs.]
You can find many of these sellers on social websites such as Google Plus and Facebook, where communities have emerged with names such as “$3 UV Digital Copy Codes” and “Ultraviolet Digital Movie Locker.” The communities include codes for UltraViolet, iTunes, Paramount Pictures, and Disney Movies Everywhere, among other digital redemption services.
Payments are typically made through PayPal or Google Wallet. And, don’t be surprised if the seller requests a F&F (friends and family) transaction with no notes (indicating sales) so there’s no percentage taken out on their side of the deal.
A couple tips when purchasing digital copy codes:
- Do some quick research on the seller to be sure they have had previous transactions, communication with buyers, etc.
- Be sure you are buying the resolution you want. Typically the listings indicate SD, HD, HDX (Vudu), or UHD (4k)
- There are lots of listings. Expand the topics by clicking the three ellipses or “Read More” button to see more titles. After opening several, do a Find (Command-F Mac, Control-F Windows) on the webpage to search for desired titles.
- Redeem the code immediately upon purchasing from the seller. There have been times when the seller will accidentally try to sell the same code twice.
- Often times the sellers will put a link to their own websites where they sell the codes. These tend to work fine and often you’ll find the titles you want easier.
Good luck building your digital movie library! If you can, share this article on social media for others to enjoy!