Premium network Epix is launching its video streaming app for the 2018 Honda Odyssey.
Like Epix’s currently available app, the connected car app will offer Epix’s movies, series, live channels, curated collections and advanced search. For right now, the connected car app doesn’t offer downloads, but that feature will be added soon.
Chief Digital Officer Jon Dakss said Epix is the first premium network to launch a video streaming app for a connected car. He thinks it will have a huge impact on both the media and automotive industries.
“We think it’s monumental for the way connected cars are evolving,” Dakss said.
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Dakss said that when Epix first saw the opportunity to do this with Honda, the network was in disbelief that no one else had done it, clarifying that no other premium networks like HBO or Showtime, or SVODs like Netflix and Hulu, had launched a connected car app yet. He does concede, however, that, because of this deal and because of the platform that Honda has built—with Delphi Automotive in conjunction with OpenMobile—more networks and automakers are likely to follow suit.
“Mostly until now, many of the connected car experiences were heavily focused on the driver. With robust rear entertainment services being built in, this is the next evolution,” said Dakss, giving Honda credit for extending the experience to passengers.
For now, the Epix app will only be available to passengers in the rear seats. Dakss said Epix is working with Honda to bring controls including play, pause and content restrictions to the front seat. Honda already allows for volume control from the front seat.
While Epix has a road map of features planned for current-year Hondas, the company is also tracking autonomous vehicle innovations and how those could enable new features and functions for onboard entertainment and video streaming in a connected car.
“It’s going to have a profound impact,” said Dakss, adding that autonomous driving technology is accelerating faster than anyone has expected.
The Epix app for the 2018 Honda Odyssey will be available to users with a pay-TV subscription, though free trials will also be available.