Amazon now lets you save movies for offline viewing
If you have an iOS or Android device, you can now watch Transparent without an internet connection.
Amazon announced Tuesday it is now letting users download movies and TV shows for offline viewing on its Amazon Video iOS and Android apps. While this feature is common in music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, this is the first time a video service has offered something like this.
Streaming video is great until you don’t have a good internet connection, which is often the time you want to watch the most. Being able to save your content locally will mean you won’t have to deal with a train ride or a flight without your favorite shows.
This is arguably a more useful feature for streaming music services, since users listen to music more than they watch videos on the go, but it’s still a welcome addition. Amazon is quick to point out the uniqueness of this feature, even calling out Netflix by name in its press release.
Netflix’s Director of Corporate Communications Cliff Edwards told Tech Radar last year that offline viewing was “never going to happen,” saying that it’s only a temporary solution for the larger problem of limited Wi-Fi availability.
This news comes shortly after news broke that Netflix was not renewing a deal with Epix, losing big title movies like Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Transformers: Age of Extinction.
While one could criticize Amazon Video’s library for lacking size in comparison to Netflix, that’s missing the point; Video adds value to Amazon’s $99 per year Prime service, which brings more high-spending customers.
A minor, but welcome addition like offline playback adds even more value still.
This feature has been available to users of Amazon-branded Fire phones and tablets, but the rollout for iOS and Android means that substantially more Prime subscribers will be able to take advantage.
Amazon is also changing the name of its video service slightly from Amazon Instant Video to simply, Amazon Video. One assumes this was an attempt to save ink.