After years of asking, Netflix is finally allowing their subscribers to download select movies and TV shows from their service. You can now watch most of their Originals, such as The Crown, Narcos, Orange is the New Black and House of Cards on an airplane or train without worrying about the wifi connection. (The new season of Gilmore Girls, Gillian Anderson’s The Fall, Luke Cage and a few others are not currently offering this feature.)
Back in July, on their Q2 earnings call, Amazon said they would double its video content spend during the 2nd half of 2016 compared to the same period last year. CFO Brian Olsavsky told investors Amazon would “nearly triple our offering to customers of new Amazon original TV shows and movies” compared to last year.
One of those investments (according to Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, they spent $250MM for three seasons) was their new show, The Grand Tour, a reincarnation of the hit TV series “Top Gear” which just premiered globally on Amazon Prime. According to a company press release, the first episode has become the biggest show premiere ever on Amazon Prime Video, beating The Man in the High Castle. Total new Prime membership sign-ups exceeded all previous days with the exception of Amazon’s renowned Prime Day.
Ever go to a network website in hopes of watching the pilot of one of their new shows? And when you get there you notice that the first episode is gone, yet they have the five most recent episodes, otherwise called the ‘rolling five.”
Well that’s about to change. Back in May, the broadcasters, especially ABC and NBC negotiated ‘stacking rights’ with the studios that make the shows. Now, all episodes from most of the new series from the current 2016-17 season along with several returning shows, will be made available, or ‘stacked’ on their website and apps. The one catch is that you must be an authenticated viewer, which means you still have to subscribe to a Pay TV service provider (e.g. AT&T DirecTV, Comcast, Charter, Verizon FiOS).