Amazon said it is the first SVOD streaming service to offer a download option for iOS and Android devices that enables subs to view movies and TV shows while they are offline.
That option is now available for Amazon Prime Video’s iOS and Android offerings for smartphones and tablets for no added charge, the company said, noting that Prime members have already been able to download video on Fire devices.
Amazon’s new download options keeps it ahead of SVOD-OTT service Netflix, though Netflix has already indicated that it has no near-term plans to go the download route. Cliff Edwards, Netflix’s direct of corporate communications and technology, told TechRadar late last year that “It’s never going to happen,” when asked if the service was considering an offline viewing capability.
Comcast, meanwhile, does support downloads for several titles via Xfinity TV Go, its TV Everywhere app, and also allows users of its Cloud DVR (for the MSO's X1 platform) to download and essentially “check out” recorded shows for offline viewing.
Amazon said titles available for download include Amazon originals such as Bosch, Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, as well as The White Queen (from Starz), several network shows (24, Covert Affairs, Downton Abbey, Extant, Grimm, Hannibal, Orphan Black, Suits, Under the Dome and Vikings). Several shows that come way of Amazon’s licencing deal with HBO are also eligible for download, including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage, Girls, Veep, The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom, and True Blood.
Amazon also has digital download rights for movies such as Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Captive, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and The Wolf of Wall Street.
“There’s no doubt that the way people watch entertainment is changing—anytime, anywhere viewing is important and we are excited to provide our Prime members with offline viewing capabilities on iOS and Android platforms starting today,” said Michael Paull, vice president of digital video at Amazon, in a statement. “We are proud to be the first and only online subscription streaming service that enables offline viewing—on vacation, in a car, at the beach, on a plane, wherever our Prime members want to watch they can, regardless of internet connection.”