Amazon Prime Instant Video customers are now able to download and watch movies and TV Shows offline. For a while now, this was only possible for customers who either owned the Fire Tablet or rented or bought a movie. It now offers so much flexibility compared to Netflix whose customers have no choice but to watch all their movies and TV shows online.
Though Amazon’s videos library is smaller compared to Netflix, recent changes in the past few weeks have brought about a number of big wins to the former. To begin with, Amazon Prime Instant retained the license to the humongous Epix video library which Netflix will cede their licensing rights at the end of November. Included in the library are hit movies and TV Shows such as The Wolf of the Wall Street, Catching Fire, Hunger Games and Star Trek into Darkness. Amazon Prime Instant customers will now be able to access all these show and download and watch them offline.
The second win that Amazon Prime Instant customers have with regards to accessing and downloading their favorite shows and watching offline is that they will now be able to access and download some of the Prime Instant movies and TV shows using Apple iOS and Android phones and tablets. This alone will increase the number of people viewing and downloading the shows and it will also be convenient to the customers because they will have access to their favorite shows even when they don’t have any internet connection and in any place so long as they have access to their mobile devices.
The ability to watch Amazon Prime Instant Movies via the popular mobile devices did not just bring convenience to the users. It is has also presented users with a long list of features to enhance the offline viewing experience. Some of these notable features include the following:
1) Download Quality options – gives you the ability to choose between different quality options for the download, e.g High definition, standard definition, normal etc.
2) For videos or movies that are available for free, you will be presented with a “Download” button that you can click and commence on the download immediately.
3) Upto 76 days to view the video offline – once the download is completed, the video will be available for offline viewing for duration of up to 76 days. But this will vary with the type of video and the kinds of licenses it has.
4) For TV Shows, each episode comes with a different download icon hence it is not possible to download a whole series all at once.
It is surprising to note that Netflix is yet to respond to the developments in Amazon and likely possibility of them losing part of their subscribers to Amazon Prime Instant Videos. But perhaps this is due to the fact that Netflix has a large user base and it may not feel threatened with the recent activities by Amazon Prime Instant. Presently, Netflix is responsible for close to 36% of the entire internet traffic in North America. This is so big compared to the paltry 1.97% of traffic generated by Amazon during the same duration.
Amazon Prime Instant Video: The Pros
Amazon Prime Instant Video has a rental option where you are allowed to rent shows from $2.99 to $6.99. It also allows users to purchase digital copies of the various TV shows and movies. With the digital copies, users are at liberty to download them into their hard drives and watch them offline at any time of their convenience.
Superior features to Netflix
Even though there is a lot of overlap between the two services, Amazon Prime Instant Videos has a number of stuff not available on Netflix. For instance, Amazon had Mean Girls, which could be streamed via the platform, while Netflix only had DVD version of the same show. Amazon Prime is also very convenient when it comes to new releases. Netflix will take their time before they can update their library to reflect the new shows and movies.
Free Shipping and discounts
If you are a subscriber to Amazon Prime, you will not just enjoy the quality programming they have, but whenever you purchase items from Amazon, you will have the added benefit of free shipping amongst other discounts.
The Cons of Amazon Prime
Before you get well acquainted with the Amazon Prime Instant Video platform, it will take you a little bit of time as well as confusion to know where to find what. Amazon Instant Video Prime is hidden behind two menus in the huge Amazon site and many users find accessing it to be a bit unfriendly.
Because Amazon Prime Instant Video platform is relatively new, it does a very poor job when it comes to recommending shows and movies to users. It is nearly impossible for it to personalize the experience of each user and make accurate recommendation since it has just a few categories of shows. For instance, Netflix has about 77,000 genres and this makes personalization a bit easy. For Amazon, the best recommendation you can get might feature only three genres – Drama, Kids & Family and Comedy.
Amazon Prime Vs Hulu Plus Vs Netflix
The price is usually a big factor of concern for consumers when it comes to choosing such services. Always, consumers want the best at the most affordable rates. Amazon Prime is available at a cost of $99 per year or a monthly subscription of $8.25. Hulu Plus has a monthly subscription of $8.00 but you are also free to use Hulu which offers a limited selection of some of the movies and TV shows. Netflix on the other hand is available from $8.00 per month. The beauty of Amazon Prime as far as price is concerned is that you will also be entitled to free two day delivery whenever you make a purchase on Amazon website.
Free Trial Periods
Free trial period is always allowed to let users gauge the suitability of subscribing to the various services. Amazon Prime and Netflix offer a 30 day free trial period before you can start on paying the monthly subscriptions. Hulu on the other hand are not very generous with the free trial period and allows for only 7 days during which you can access their premium content without paying.
Speed of Access
All these are web-based platforms and the speed at which you access the services will greatly on the speed of your internet connection. If you have a slow speeds, you are likely to experience poor quality images and your viewing experience may also be hampered by constant buffing. However, it is always easier to stream rather than download for offline viewing.
Compatibility with streaming devices
Amazon Prime doesn’t allow flexibility when it comes to streaming devices compared to Netflix and Hulu. At the moment, you can access Amazon Prime content over the internet using Kindle Fire tablet, Android and iOS phones, Roku, and Blu-ray Player but you can’t access it through any gaming device. Hulu Plus is available over a number of streaming devices, but unlike Amazon Prime and Netflix, it is not compatible with Blu-ray players and Internet-ready TVs. Netflix is the leader with regards to compatibility with streaming devices and you can access the content via Nintendo Wii, your PC, PS3, Xbox, Roku, Android, iOS, Internet-ready TV, Nook, Blu-ray Player amongst others.
Visit the Official Homepage of Amazon Prime Video by clicking here
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