Amazon Prime brings offline viewing to video streaming battle

The battle for online streaming supremacy is heating up, after Amazon announced that Prime subscribers can now download videos for offline viewing.

The move stands in stark contrast to the position taken by rival content provider Netflix, which has consistently stated that offline content is not on its agenda.

Read more: Is Apple preparing to square up to Netflix, developing own original content?

Amazon Prime customers will now have access to the offline viewing feature across smartphones and tablets using both iOS and Google’s Android operating system. Amazon previously trialled downloadable content through its own Kindle Fire tablets, but is now extending the feature. Amazon Prime subscribers will also be pleased to note that the ability to watch content offline comes at no extra cost.

“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,” explained Michael Paull, vice president of digital video at Amazon. “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.”

Not all Prime content is available for download, however, with rights issues preventing access to Amazon’s full repertoire. Still, all of the firm’s Original Series works are available, such as Transparent and Bosch, as well as some high-profile third-party films and TV shows including The Imitation Game and Peppa Pig.

Read more: The Netflix effect: Are our TV habits changing forever?

For anyone wishing to keep content to watch when offline, it’s simply a case of hitting the “Download” button in the film or TV show’s details page when using the Amazon Video app. However, it appears that anyone receiving Amazon Prime via another family member’s account will not receive the download feature and Android users will first have to download the app from Amazon’s own Appstore, as it is not available via Google Play.