The MGM-owned premium TV network announced that its streaming video app will be integrated into rear-seat entertainment systems of Honda’s 2018 Odyssey minivan. To access Epix, customers must have a subscription through participating pay-TV providers (although Comcast and DirecTV are among those that do not offer the network).
The deal marks the first time an entertainment service will be available directly through an internet-connected car. But it’s questionable whether Epix will see much lift in subscribers from the Honda pact. As cool as the feature may be, it’s just as convenient today for back-seat passengers to watch Netflix, HBO or any other video service on a tablet or smartphone.
Honda’s connected-car platform is powered by Delphi Automotive in conjunction with OpenMobile World Wide, a software company that integrates Android-based solutions for automotive and transportation industries. Second- and third-row passengers can control the Epix app from their seats.
“The 2018 Honda Odyssey is a great leap forward in connectivity, with an emphasis on communication between family members and their connections to digital content,” Jeff Conrad, SVP and GM of America Honda Motor Co., said in a statement.
Epix also is tracking developments in the self-driving car space, according to chief digital officer Jon Dakss, “as we believe they will create extraordinary new ways for people to access premium content while they travel.”
With the integrated Epix app, Odyssey passengers will have access to the network’s movies and other programming on demand including “Spectre,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” and “Star Trek Beyond”; original series including “Berlin Station,” “Graves” and “Get Shorty” (which premieres Aug. 13); documentaries such as “America Divided”; and music and comedy special from Katy Perry, Louis CK and Wanda Sykes.
In April, MGM announced a $1 billion deal to take full ownership of Epix, buying out the stakes held by Viacom and Lionsgate. The three partners had formed Epix back in 2008.