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Amazon Prime Instant Video gets offline viewing, trumps Netflix

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Amazon Prime Instant Video

Amazon keeps bundling new features onto its Prime subscription package, much to the chagrin of rival Netflix.

Its latest Prime Instant Video feature gives users the opportunity to save videos as downloads.

That means instead of only being able to access Instant Video content online via streaming, you’ll now be able to store content for offline viewing.

It’s a long-awaited feature for streaming services, but Amazon has beaten all of its competitors to the punch.

The new service is currently only available on iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets, and Fire devices.

It’s also included in the £79 yearly subscription fee, so you won’t have to pay any extra to store your content offline.

“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,” explains Michael Paull, Amazon’s VP of Digital Video.

Paull continues: “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.”

Related: Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video

The feature is still unavailable on Netflix, and not for want of user demand.

The new addition also means an Amazon Prime subscription is now exceptionally good value for money.

A brand new Netflix subscription gets you all of its standard content for £90 a year.

Amazon Prime, meanwhile, costs £79 a year, offers up 4K/UHD content at no extra charge, and comes with extra perks like free next-day delivery, free photo cloud storage, access to the Prime Music streaming service, and free Kindle e-book renting.

Who do you think is winning in the battle of the streaming services? Let us know in the comments.

Check out our smartphone group test video below:

chaosdefinesorder

September 1, 2015, 3:07 pm

It's a shame that the Instant Video app on Android is such a poorly design piece of crap...

Just try searching for a video to watch in the app; you're presented with a regular site-wide product search ("Search all departments" it proudly displays) instead of searching Instant Video as you would expect from a search in... um.. Instant Video...

It's also missing the "your TV shows" hot-link that smart TVs have, so if you're used to going there to continue watching a TV show, and have therefore not explicitly added it to your watchlist (which DOES have a hotlink), or if you're on season 6 but added season 1 to your watchlist, then you have to search for it instead (see previous paragraph!).

TheHulksMothersCousin

September 2, 2015, 1:11 am

Netflix have went too far with price increases recently i think taking into consideration all Amazon has to offer at its price point and with the recent news I read about apple getting into the content game. Other streaming services may be more expensive now but may have to change if their is more competition with better value for money.

chaosdefinesorder

September 2, 2015, 12:56 pm

The new Amazon Video app update has just dropped on my device!

Key observations so far:
1) the search gimping has been fixed; searching within the Amazon Video app now searches ONLY Amazon Video! Huzzah! (see gripe in older comment)
2) the widely acclaimed offline download feature (as mentioned by this article of course) is only available *on selected titles*. Quoted from the in-app "help" section:

"Download availability depends on our agreement with content owners. We're constantly working to establish and enhance these agreements so we can offer a download option for as many Prime titles as possible"

so in other words, we're still at the mercy of the backwards thinking of the old-media corporations as to whether we're allowed to watch stuff online or offline (seriously, what's the difference?)

A quick browse through the TV shows I would like to cache offline for an upcoming holiday, and NONE of them are available to download. I took way longer than it should have to find a movie that I want to download that I *can*

3) Once you do finally find something to download for offline viewing, there is a *hard* limit where if the file would be more than 50MB, it simply refuses to let you download it over mobile data at all. There is no "I have an unlimited data tariff, gimme!" option, just "Nope, Wi-Fi only in many hours time when you get home!". Lazy cop-out there, Amazon!

Overall, such a promising feature addition, let down by the depressingly predictable artificial limitations imposed for no *legitimate* reason...

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