Amazon Fires A Shot Across The Bow Of Netflix

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With the recent update to Amazon’s mobile video apps— now renamed “Amazon Video”, users now have an option for offline playback on both iOS and Android devices.

Now Prime subscribers can download the service’s streaming titles for viewing, taking one of the biggest inconveniences of streaming services and removing it from the equation.

This feature now affords Amazon users a level of flexibility that that Netfilx can’t and won’t match. The downloading feature could be viewed as a shot across the bow of Netflix, which last year emphatically stated that it would never add offline playback.

Why Netflix has maintained such a hardline stance has been a little unclear, and no doubt are varied. One clear difference is Netflix’s own infrastructure has been designed around the concept of streaming, rather than widespread downloads. Amazon, on the other hand, already has infrastructure in place for downloading.

With the option to download, if you’re in the middle of binging Transparent and need to jump on a plane, you won’t have to go without; you’ll be able to download a number of episodes and take it with you.

For now only a subset of Prime Video titles will be available for offline playback, including Amazon’s original shows, Transparent and Bosch, and programs coming from the exclusive licensing agreements with NBCUniversal (Hannibal), CBS (Under the Dome), and Fox (24).

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