Amazon's Prime Instant Video Expands Offline Viewing to iOS, Android Devices

Amazon FireTV Product Image - H 2014

Amazon FireTV Product Image - H 2014

Subscribers to Prime can now download movies and TV episodes onto their iPhones, iPads and Android phones at no additional charge.

Amazon is making it easier for Prime subscribers to watch movies and TV shows. 

The Seattle-based e-commerce giant announced on Tuesday that it is enabling offline viewing of Prime Instant Video movies and TV shows on iOS and Android devices. This means that people who pay the $99 annual Prime subscription fee will now be able to download movies and TV shows onto their iPhones, iPads and Android phones at no additional charge.

Prime Instant Video is primarily a streaming service, but Amazon has allowed subscribers to download content onto Amazon devices including the Fire TV and Kindle Fire. Now, that feature is becoming available to subscribers who own Apple or Google devices. 

Among the shows that will be available for offline viewing are Amazon originals including Transparent, Bosch and Mozart in the Jungle; shows available through Amazon's licensing agreement with HBO including Girls, Veep and Boardwalk Empire; original kids series Wishenpoof and Tumble Leaf; and movies like Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and The Wolf of Wall Street

"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," said vp digital video Michael Paull. "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." 

As streaming video has become more and more common, many viewers have called for the ability to watch their content offline to avoid spotty service and buffering problems common when watching on mobile devices. But so far, few of the major streaming services offer offline viewing. Netflix's director of corporate communications and technology, Cliff Edwards, said in an interview late last year that offline viewing "is never going to happen" because it's a short-term solution for the long-term problem of quality Wi-Fi access. 

Amazon is making offline viewing available via the Amazon Video apps for iOS and Android.