MediaMall Technologies has launched a version of PlayOn Cloud, an app/service that lets users record and download content from a dozen OTT services, that works with Android smartphones and tablets.
The expansion follows PlayOn Cloud’s debut on iOS devices.
PlayOn Cloud currently enables recording and downloading for a dozen OTT services, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, Yahoo View, HBO Now, YouTube, and apps from Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, the CW, and PBS, and said more apps will be added.
The PlayOn Cloud app is free, but users must purchase recording credits, with one credit good for the recording of a full TV show or movie.
In tandem with the Android launch, PlayOn reduced the cost of a cloud recording from 99 cents to 40 cents, as well as discounted bundles of five, ten or 20 downloading credits.
MediaMall has previously insisted that PlayOn Cloud is legal, holding that it’s protected by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law and citing the 1984 Sony Betamax case. However, customers who use it run the risk of violating the terms of service of some OTT offerings.
"This is a game changer for commuters, travelers, users with mobile data caps, and those who don't want to miss movies and TV shows when they expire from streaming services,” PlayOn president and CEO Jeff Lawrence, said in a statement. “While Netflix has recently offered some of its catalog for download, the vast majority of its most popular streams are not available to download in the Netflix app.”
PlayOn Cloud enables consumers to record content for later playback when the user doesn’t have access to an internet connection, but it’s also coming on the scene as OTT services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and others broaden policies to allow downloading, at least for a subset of their streaming libraries. MVPDs and programmers such as Comcast, Dish Network, Starz and Showtime also support downloading options.
Comcast’s cloud DVR service for X1, for example, lets users “check out” a digital copy of a DVR recording to take with them for offline viewing on tablets and other supported mobile devices. Dish’s $99 portable video device, HopperGO, lets subs take DVR-recorded TV shows and movies on the road for offline viewing.
Update: Awareness of those downloading options seem to be the big hurdle, according to a new study from downloading tech specialist Penthera reported here by VideoNuze. The poll of 1,000-plus adults 18-44 found that about one third or more of customers of SVOD services like Netflix didn’t realize that a download option was available to them.