Just two weeks ago, Amazon announced it would allow Prime subscribers to download movies for offline viewing. Now Epix has followed suit, announcing it will offer subscribers the ability to download select movies directly to their mobile devices and watch them even while they’re not connected to the internet. This is a feature that Netflix has said it will not offer.
The new download feature will be available for some of Epix’s biggest titles, including movie franchises like “The Hunger Games” and “James Bond.” The feature will be available on Epix’s mobile apps for Amazon Kindle Fire tablets and all Apple and Google Android smartphones and tablets including iPads, iPhones and Samsung and Nexus devices.
The move by Epix comes as its licensing pact with Netflix is set to expire at the end of September. Epix reached a deal with Hulu that begins Oct. 1, and Epix renewed its pact with Amazon Prime earlier this year.
Why won’t Netflix follow suit and provide offline viewing to its subscribers? According to this interview in Gizmodo UK, too much choice can be confounding for viewers. “I think it’s something that lots of people ask for. We’ll see if it’s something lots of people will use,” said Neil Hunt, Netflix’s Chief Product Officer, to Gizmodo at the IFA trade show in Berlin earlier this month. “Undoubtedly it adds considerable complexity to your life with Amazon Prime – you have to remember that you want to download this thing. It’s not going to be instant, you have to have the right storage on your device, you have to manage it, and I’m just not sure people are actually that compelled to do that, and that it’s worth providing that level of complexity.”