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Before cable came around and made everyone’s lives more interesting and infomercially, viewers got to watch the battle of the Big 3 networks. That same kind of thing is happening in the streaming world, as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu are fighting for supremacy. While Netflix is in no danger of losing its top spot at the moment, Amazon is introducing a fairly revolutionary concept for its Amazon Prime members, and it will now allow some of its series and movies to be downloaded onto devices for offline viewing.

Amazon announced that Prime subscribers in the U.S, U.K., Germany and Austria will now be able to take advantage of this new option, which allows for series and movies to be downloaded to iPhones and other iOS devices, as well as Android phones and tablets, without any additional charges. This makes it the only service that gives users access to its expanding library without the need for an Internet connection while viewing. Wanting to watch Transparent while on a long road trip or on a beach without any WiFi hotspots? Now, it’s possible.

That’s a damned smart move on Amazon’s part, and not just as a means of separating itself from the rest of the pack. In today’s Internet-heavy world, where people expect wireless networks nearly everywhere they go, it’s a definite advantage to offer entertainment that only needs battery power and an attention span for enjoyment purposes. After all, even at places like airports where WiFi is ever-present, the signal isn’t always strong enough to allow the buffering that streaming shows often require. And then you can just keep watching once you get on the plane without having to shell out extra money for Internet service.

As far as TV shows that Amazon will be offering up for download, they’re definitely letting people get original series Transparent, Bosch, Mozart in the Jungle and more, as well as their kids’ series like Gortimer Gibbons, Wishenproof and the rest. (We assume future projects will also be a part of it.) A huge assortment of licensed series is also on the cards, such as their HBO libraries for Veep, The Wire and more, as well as popular shows like 24, The Americans, Downton Abbey, Sons of Anarchy and many others.

It’s not just TV shows, either. They’ve got a large selection of widely recognized feature films that will be available as well, such as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and The Wolf of Wall Street. And then there are the Amazon Prime exclusive films like Starred Up, Life After Beth and The Spectacular Now, among others.

So if you’re not an Amazon Prime member yet, and you think that botched “events” like Prime Day are reasons to not get involved, this new downloading option is one reason to convince yourself that the $99 a year is definitely worth it.
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