Online video streaming service Spuul.com has introduced an offline sync feature that allows paid subscribers to download movies for offline viewing. The feature is currently available on its Android app and will be shortly rolled out to its iOS app.
We checked the Android app and noticed that one can select any movie of their preference, tap on the sync offline button and choose their preferred resolution (low, medium, high and XHigh) to start downloading the movie. After downloading, subscribers will have 72 hours to view the movie, after which they must re-login to verify their membership. We also noticed that offline viewing is currently not available for movies under the Specials category and TV Shows.
Monthly and yearly paid subscribers can download 10 movies at a time for offline viewing while short term paid subscribers can download one movie at a time. There is also a limit of three devices per user account. Spuul currently charges Rs 300 for monthly subscriptions and Rs 3000 for yearly subscriptions. It also offers short term premium subscriptions at Rs 49 for 3 days and provides credit & debit cards and net banking as payment options.
So why is Spuul doing this? The company says that in spite of mobile devices (phones & tablets) accounting for 80% of its total consumption, users keep facing poor data speeds and intermittent data connections in several areas across the country and this feature will allow them to watch movies and TV shows uninterrupted.
Foraying Into Original Content: Besides this, Spuul co-founder S Mohan has also told Times Of India that it is currently in talks with various VC firms to raise $10 million and use the investment to foray into original content programming, expand its technical infrastructure, hiring and marketing. Its worth noting that Sudesh Iyer, the other Spuul co-founder, was also the founder of Sony Entertainment TV in India. When contacted, Spuul said its too early to comment on this initiative.
Last month, Reliance Entertainment owned video streaming service BigFlix had relaunched its movie download service, allowing BigFlix subscribers to download movies from the service and watch them offline. Besides this, Eros Now also provides offline viewing feature, however both these services are currently limited to desktop and are not available on mobile unlike Spuul.
That being said, YouTube had mentioned plans of introducing an offline viewing feature on its mobile apps in November.
Update: Added that BigFlix is also desktop only at the moment.