Amazon is letting Prime members download TV episodes and movies on Apple iPhones and iPads as well as Android phones and tablets for watching while offline — a feature Netflix and Hulu don’t offer.
Prime subscribers in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Austria now have access to the download-to-watch feature for thousands of titles, including Amazon original series like “Transparent” (pictured above), for no extra charge on iOS and Android devices. Amazon first launched the Prime Instant Video disconnected-viewing feature for Kindle Fire tablets in the fall of 2013.
“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,” said Michael Paull, Amazon’s VP of digital video.
Of course, the feature won’t necessarily persuade current Netflix or Hulu subscribers to switch over to Prime. But the offline-viewing capability underscores Amazon’s continued investment in the subscription VOD space.
Titles available on Prime Instant Video to download for offline viewing include Amazon Studios’ original series “Bosch,” “Transparent” starring Jeffrey Tambor, “Mozart in the Jungle” and “Catastrophe”; past season of TV shows including “24,” “Covert Affairs,” “Downton Abbey,” “Hannibal,” “Orphan Black” and “The Good Wife” and “Under the Dome”; and older HBO original series including “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Entourage,” “Girls,” “Veep,” “The Wire,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Newsroom” and “True Blood.”
It’s also worth noting that Amazon in February renewed its pact with Epix to offer hundreds of movies to Prime users — while Netflix’s Epix licensing deal is set to expire at the end of September. Those titles include “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” and “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.”
In addition to mobile devices, Prime Instant Video is available on connected TV and set-tops and later this year will be accessible on JetBlue flights for no extra charge. The video service is available as part of the Prime free-shipping program, which costs $99 per year in the U.S.
The updated Amazon Video apps are available on the Amazon Appstore for Android and Apple’s iTunes.