Amazon has become the first subscription streaming service to offer downloads of movies and TVs for offline viewing.
Amazon Prime Instant Video subscribers in the UK, US, Germany and Austria will now be able to download movies and TV episodes at no additional charge. Previously, only owners of Amazon-branded “Fire” devices were able to download videos. Now, videos can be downloaded to iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets.
The move is a big step in making Amazon’s subscription video platform more attractive to new and existing customers – the kind of advantage it needs to offer to win people over from rival Netflix. Not all videos in the Prime streaming line-up will be available to watch offline, due to licensing restrictions, but Amazon original shows will all be available, from Mozart in the Jungle and Bosch to the Golden Globe-winning Transparent. Kids shows exclusive for Prime members include Amazon originals Wishenpoof!, Creative Galaxy, Tumble Leaf, Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street and Annedroids.
With one original series arriving every month now until early next year, that catalogue is set to keep growing. Other titles that are available to download include Catastrophe, 24, Extant, Grimm, Sons of Anarchy, Under the Dome, Vikings and others.
Android users will have twice the reason to celebrate, as the Amazon Video app for Android has been newly redesigned as a standalone video app, offering an “improved in-app experience”, as well as the ability to download titles from Prime Video. The Amazon Video app is compatible with Android devices running Android OS 4.0 or higher, which means Amazon Video will work on Nexus 7 for the first time.
“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,” says Michael Paull, Vice President of Digital Video at Amazon.
“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.”