With the somewhat recent increase in price for Amazon Prime, along with the increased pressure from competing video content providers, Amazon has added more features and incentive to its Amazon Prime offering. At $99, most people are unaware that along with free 2-day shipping, they also receive unlimited video streaming from Amazon Instant Video. To gain more interest in the platform and to keep people using the service, Amazon has now added the ability to download shows and movies on Instant Video to watch offline or wherever you might not have Internet.
For now, the free add-on is available via the Amazon Video app for iOS or Android, but Amazon said it will look into PC downloading in the very near future. Amazon also said the downloading will apply to almost every show and movie available on Instant Video, including its original exclusives.
Compared to Netflix and Hulu, which only offer streaming service, this is surely a plus to those who already subscribe to Prime and use Instant Video. Amazon's VP of digital video, Michael Paull, said, "There's no doubt that the way people watch entertainment is changing-anytime, anywhere viewing is important."
When asked, Netflix said that they have no intentions to follow in the footsteps on Amazon on this one. A PR rep for the company said that as wireless Internet speeds increase and coverage improves, the need to download content will be less and less.
Coming from an individual who travels a lot and lives near a beach, I couldn't disagree more. There are several known dead spots in heavily-populated areas where streaming music or video is just not possible. And that doesn't even count the influx of steel structures that one may shop in or frequent for other reasons. The need to download content will always be a necessity until there is an always-on, fully coveraged world.