The Epix network announced today that they will be offering select movie titles to be dowloaded and viewed offline, on mobile devices or otherwise, to their subscribers as early as the end of September, following their partnering with Amazon and Hulu, and their subsequent cutting of ties with Netflix. This isn’t particularly huge news in terms of the application, as indie-film specialty streaming services, such as Vimeo, have offered a downloadable file of films and series for some time now. In the case of Epix, however, their ability to get major films from major studios makes this a pretty clever, if also a bit dicey, move, especially as it would offer something that Netflix does not and will never offer, if public comments by the streaming service’s heads are to be believed.
Here’s what the press release from Epix says:
Premium entertainment network EPIX announced that it will offer subscribers the ability to download hit movies directly to their mobile devices, allowing them to watch where they want, when they want – even without access to an internet connection. A leader in multiplatform entertainment, EPIX will be the first network to deliver offline viewing directly from its mobile apps, available across Kindle Fire and all Apple and Android mobile devices and tablets including iPads®, iPhones®, and Samsung and Nexus devices. The new offering will be available this month to all EPIX subscribers, launching with a marketing campaign in partnership with affiliated distributors.
“The EPIX goal has always been to provide our subscribers with next level enhancements, elevating how they can access content across devices,” said Mark Greenberg, EPIX President and CEO. “By creating a network first, true TV Everywhere experience, consumers can now download a movie from our library and watch it anywhere, anytime, even without a Wi-Fi connection – while waiting at the airport, traveling by train, commuting to work, or even on a camping trip. Consumers now have guaranteed content mobility.”The new download feature will offer EPIX’s biggest titles on demand, including hit movie franchises The Hunger Games, James Bond, and Star Trek, original documentaries and music and comedy events featuring marquee talent including Katy Perry, Craig Ferguson, Louis CK, Mark Maron and more.
The inclusion of franchises into the system really does give Epix a bit of an advantage, as those without full 4G will attest; the data savings on cell phones could be considerable if you downloaded the film and turned off wi-fi altogether. The limitations on what can be downloaded, however, could prove to be a bit of a hold-up with the service, as the main drawing point of Netflix is the sheer amount of content they have for streaming. If this works out though, Epix could soon be offering a larger variety of titles for offline viewing, and that could pose a considerably larger threat to Netflix, but I honestly doubt they’re sweating this announcement all that much.