MGM’s Epix doesn’t just want to win the battle for eyeballs at the living room TV. It hopes to beat its premium network rivals by attracting viewers sitting in the back seats of minivans — beginning with a deal with Honda, announced this morning.
Epix says that it will be be “the first entertainment service globally” with an app that offers its content to subscribers in a connected car — in this case Honda’s 2018 Odyssey minivan. The rear-seat service will be powered by Delphi Automotive and OpenMobile.
“We are excited to be the first entertainment network to partner with Honda for this key inflection point in the world of smart connected vehicles and video,” Epix CEO Mark Greenberg says. “As vehicles evolve to become the ultimate mobile device, we are pleased to work with Honda to develop new entertainment experiences for second and third row passengers and pioneer this next chapter of streaming video and true TV Everywhere.”
Epix’s app will be pre-loaded into rear-seat entertainment system. Subscribers will be able to watch its movies and shows on demand and via four live linear channels.
Chief Digital Officer Jon Dakss says that Epix has “a deep roadmap of innovative features planned in the coming months, including new ways to download content to your Honda entertainment system using other mobile devices in and out of vehicles.”
The company is “tracking the rapid technological advances in the autonomous vehicle space as we believe they will create extraordinary new ways for people to access premium content while they travel.”
The initiative complements Honda’s effort to market the Odyssey to families. The minivan has a ceiling camera that enables grownups in the front seat to flip on a screen so they won’t have to turn their heads to see what kids are doing in the back.
It also has microphones so the adults can pause rear-seat entertainment and communicate with children via speakers, or through their earphones — much like airline pilots and flight attendants do with flight passengers.
America Honda Motor GM Jeff Conrad says that the arrangement with Epix reinforces its hope that the Odyssey will offer “a great leap forward in connectivity.”