End of the stream dream? New trial wants users to pay to watch pre-downloaded films

Would you watch a movie on your phone? No? Well how about if it was already downloaded, stored locally, and ready to watch without a moment’s hesitation?

A new initiative from Fox, Telstra and Ericsson is banking on the latter. 

Announced at MWC 2017 the initiative will see movies such as The Martian, Deadpool, The Revenant and Life of Pi pre-loaded onto Samsung Galaxy S7 handsets, ready to watch. 

So what's the catch?

The catch is that users will still have to pay to rent or buy the films, as they would if they wanted to stream it from a service like YouTube

The films will also take up space on a user’s phone, which could end up being annoying depending on how much free space you have on your device. 

Although this won’t be the case during the initial trial period, eventually the hope is to have these films download onto phones in the background using data that’s zero-rated - so thankfully there won’t be any nasty movie-related surprises when your bill arrives at the end of the month. 

Watching a movie on your phone is hardly the best way to get the cinematic experience, but having the film pre-downloaded might mean we end up watching it in situations where we’re without signal for extended periods of time, and not having to wait to have it downloaded is an additional bonus. 

Just please don’t watch The Revenant on your phone. If ever there was a movie to watch on a big screen it’s that.

Jon Porter

Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.