Instant Video Tips & Tricks – Amazon Digital Copies Now Come Free With Some Discs

Did you know that Amazon has begun bundling some of its Instant Video digital copies of movies with Blu-ray and DVD purchases? This hasn’t been widely publicized, nor even publicized at all so far as we can tell. It’s another one of those things we’ve kind of stumbled upon and think our readers would like to know.

Some Universal Disc Bundles Now Include An Amazon Instant Video Download Option

Purchasers of the Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy bundle on discs recently released by Universal may find the included download code is redeemable on Amazon for an Amazon Instant Video copy (as opposed to redeeming it on iTunes, or for an Ultraviolet digital copy). This page on Universal’s Hi-Def website  includes the following information about digital download codes included with its disc bundles:


Amazon Instant Video

Universal Blu-ray™ Disc and DVD titles that support website based Digital Copy redemption may enable viewing of your movie on a wide array of Amazon Instant Video-enabled Internet connected TV’s, Blu-ray players, and set-top boxes. Amazon Instant Video also enables you to stream movies and TV shows on your PC/Mac®.


Still Not Easy To Tell If An Amazon Digital Copy Is Available

It’s great to see the studios finally simplifying things for consumers by including a single digital download code that allows the purchaser to choose his preferred redemption vendor (e.g., Amazon, Vudu, iTunes, Ultraviolet, etc.), but this is all still very new so there are some minor kinks yet to be worked out. Among them is this: the disc packaging and digital download inserts do not specify all the different vendor(s) through which you can redeem your code. When you go to the web address provided on the digital download insert, it may or may not provide this level of detail.

Just because the insert clearly indicates Ultraviolet and iTunes are available options, don’t assume there aren’t others as well. So long as you’ve purchased a disc bundle that includes a “Digital Copy”—not just an “Ultraviolet Copy”, which seems to be more standard with Warner Brothers releases—it’s possible that Amazon Instant Video is one of your download options.

How To Find Out If Your Digital Download Code Works With Amazon

First, make sure you want the Amazon Instant Video digital copy and not one of the other choices (e.g., iTunes digital copy, Vudu digital copy, Ultraviolet digital copy), because download codes are only intended to be used once, for redemption from one specific vendor. Once you’ve redeemed from one vendor, you cannot count on getting the other vendors’ digital copies as well.

Go to the product page for the Instant Video version of the movie for which you just bought a disc bundle that includes a Digital Copy. Click on the Redeem A Gift Card or Promotion Code button, indicated by the red arrow in the screenshot below:

When prompted, enter the digital download code provided in the special insert with your disc bundle. If Amazon Instant Video is one of the available options for that disc, the Instant Video will be added to your shopping cart with a “price” of $0.00 shown. If not, you will get an error message indicating ‘invalid code’, or something similar.


We hope that in the coming months, product descriptions and packaging will make it more obvious when Amazon Instant Video is one of the available download options. But for now, you’ll just have to try it and see.


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