Amazon has become the first major subscription streaming service to allow users to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing on iOS and Android devices. You can almost hear the sound of the mortar fire streaking across the bow of the big red streaming machine that is Netflix.
Amazon Prime Instant Video members in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Austria can now grab select TV shows or full-length movies to watch on an airplane, in the car, or other places where Internet service is unavailable, or if you’d simply prefer not to use up your home broadband bandwidth or cellular data.
The option won’t cost you any additional fees, but not all of Amazon’s catalog will be available. The service does, however, note a fairly extensive list that includes original TV series like Bosch and Transparent; as well as popular binge-friendly programs like 24, Downton Abbey, Orphan Black, Sons of Anarchy, The Good Wife, The Newsroom, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Suits, among others.
Select children’s programming is also available offline, including Wishenpoof! (another Amazon original), Tumble Leaf, and Annedroids. On the movie side, you can download and view flicks like 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.
Michael Paull, Vice President of Digital Video at Amazon, says the company recognizes that the way people watch entertainment is changing. “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,” Paull said in a statement.
Amazon had already offered the ability for Prime members to download videos to their Fire devices, and the company reports that the reception has been overwhelmingly positive.
The Amazon Video app for iOS has already been updated to include Prime Video downloads. The Amazon Video app for Android has been redesigned as a standalone video app, including the new offline downloading feature.
Making content even more accessible, Amazon has plans to soon offer streaming service for Prime members while flying JetBlue. Netflix, you’re up.
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