EPIX Mobilizes Download Option

Joining a growing trend, premium movie network EPIX said it will soon let authenticated subscribers download titles to their mobile devices for viewing when they are offline.

EPIX said it’s adding the capability later this month via its mobile apps for the Kindle Fire and iOS and Android tablets and smartphones, and will be launched in tandem with a marketing campaign in partnership with affiliated distributors. 

While Netflix has remained cool to complementing its streaming platform with downloading, the download model has been picking up elsewhere. Amazon last week became the first subscription VOD streaming service to extend downloading to its apps for iOS and Android, complementing initial support for downloading  on Fire devices. Comcast also supports downloads for a portion of its VOD library via  its Xfinity TV Go app (including movie titles from premium nets Starz, Encore, Movieplex and Showtime), and lets users of its X1 Cloud DVR download recorded shows to mobile devices for offline viewing.  TiVo recently extended downloading capability to its Android app, building on a similar capability offered on iOS devices.

See this story (subscription required) in this week’s Next TV section in Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable  for more on the digital video downloading market, including insight from Michael Willner, CEO of Penthera, the company behind a platform called Cache & Carry.

EPIX said its new download feature will support movie titles from franchises such as The Hunger Games, James Bond, and Star Trek, original documentaries and music and comedy events.

“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, in a statement.  “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.”

“From its creation, EPIX has focused on providing their premium movies and original programming to customers in as many ways as possible,” added Mike Angus, Time Warner Cable’s SVP and GM, digital. “Working with them to capitalize on technology to create more ways for our customers to watch is a great way for us to add value together.”

EPIX’s TVE platform also supports the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PS4, the Google Chromecast streaming adapter, Web browsers, Roku players, several smart TV platforms from makers such as Sony, Sharp and Philips, and Google’s new Android TV platform.

MVPDs that offer EPIX and have TVE rights for the service include AT&T U-verse, Bright House Networks, TWC, Charter Communications, Dish Network, EPB Fiber Optics, Frontier Communications, Cox Communications, Hargray, Verizon  FiOS and Mediacom Communications.