Pushing deeper into digital streaming, Amazon on Wednesday rolled out the Instant Video App for iPad. That means customers can finally stream or download Amazon Instant Video movies and TV episodes from their video library directly to their iPad.
The new Amazon Instant Video app also makes available more than 20,000 titles from Prime Instant Video for members of the Prime service to stream instantly on the iPad at no additional cost. That includes hit TV shows like Glee, Downton Abbey and Fringe, as well as popular movies such as Mission: Impossible 3, Mean Girls and Ocean's Eleven.
Anthony Bay, Amazon.com vice president for video, said the company wants to make it more convenient to watch movies and TV episodes on their iPad from anywhere. He described the Instant Video App for iPad as a way of extending Amazon's "buy once, enjoy everywhere" approach.
The Apple TV Connection
Phil Leigh, a senior analyst at Inside Digital Media, said this is just one more example of how Amazon is at the leading edge of the digital media revolution.
"First, more people are watching video on iPads now. Secondly, people are increasingly discovering you can mirror the video from their iPads to their own TVs, so that's a significant advantage," Leigh told us.
"You need to spend $99 for an Apple TV appliance and hook it up. Your iPad senses that your are plugged in to the Apple TV and when you play a video you have a choice of playing it on your iPad or having it mirror on your TV screen."
Following Hulu Plus
Here's how it works: To watch movies or TV episodes from Amazon Instant Video on iPad, customers can search for the content they've already rented or purchased from Amazon Instant Video.
The Amazon Instant Video App for iPad offers features including "Your Watchlist," which lets customers make a list of all the movies and TV episodes they want to watch in the future, regardless of whether they own the video or not, making it easy to keep track of specific videos for later viewing. Another feature is "Your Video Library," which gives iPad customers access to purchases and rentals from Amazon Instant Video on the Web.
Amazon will have some competition, though. Hulu Plus is now officially in the Apple TV line up: "Keeping up with the latest episode of Family Guy, MasterChef and New Girl on Hulu Plus just got a little easier," said Hulu senior software developer Dallas Mahrt. "And my living room just got a whole lot happier."