Amazon has announced that it will enable its Amazon Prime subscribers to watch video content offline on iOS and Android devices, a move that could give it an advantage over its competitors Netflix and Hulu.
The offline playback option will be available for Prime subscribers in the US, UK, Germany and Austria. Amazon already has an offline playback function for subscribers who own one of its Kindle Fire tablets.
Netflix has sworn that it will never introduce this option, presumabaly because it doesn’t own those rights. But its stance makes it less attractive for subscribers who spend a lot of time on planes or live in countries with patchy internet access.
“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 Amazon vice president of digital video, Michael Paull.
Amazon also said it would drop the word “instant” from the name of its subscription streaming service, which is now called Amazon Prime Video.
Not everything on Amazon Prime Video will be available for offline playback, but the new function does cover Amazon original shows such as Transparent and programming from its exclusive licensing deals with NBCUniversal, CBS and Fox.