Showtime has become the latest premium programmer to support digital downloads as it extends the feature to its standalone OTT subscription service as well as Showtime Anytime, its authenticated TV Everywhere app.
The feature, which lets subscribers to view an array of original series such as Homeland and Billions, movies and other premium content when they are offline, initially supports Showtime’s apps for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, as well as Amazon Fire tablets.
“It’s a feature that our loyal and intense subscriber base has asked for,” Tom Christie, Showtime’s COO, said. “It was high on our list to do,” he added, noting that he expects the option to bring added customer convenience and satisfaction to the premium service.
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Showtime said subs can take advantage of the feature by tapping the “Download” button on a program’s detail page. Viewers on smartphones can choose to download the title in standard definition (540p) or high definition (720p), and tablet users will have the added option to download a program in 1080p. Once downloaded, viewers can access them by tapping the “Download List” icon in the top navigation bar of the app.
Showtime customers who take advantage of the new feature will be able to begin to watch those programs as they are downloaded. “You don’t have to wait,” Julia Veale, Showtime’s EVP, business, product development and management, said.
She added that Showtime’s system will also know where viewers left off if they were streaming a movie or series episode and then decided to download that file for later offline viewing.
Veale also confirmed that Showtime created the new download feature in partnership with Penthera alongside internal development by Showtime, and that virtually all of Showtime's content library supports downloading rights.
Showtime joins a growing list of programmers and subscription video services to add app-based download options, including Epix, Starz, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video, among others. Comcast’s recently revamped Xfinity Stream app also supports downloading of titles for certain shows and movies, including titles from Showtime and Starz. Comcast’s X1 service also lets customers download and “check out” programs recorded to their cloud DVR.