While competitors like Amazon Prime, Google Play, and iTunes allow users to download videos for offline viewing, Netflix has yet to offer this option. Netflix is now considering the idea, but probably not for its millions of customers in the U.S.
Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told CNBC today that if the company decides to offer this long-awaited functionality, it won’t necessarily be available here.
The feature would likely launch in areas that don’t have access to high-speed internet. In those areas, Sarandos says, customers are more used to downloading content rather than streaming.
Now, in order to reach those customers, the company has to adapt its model, starting with providing the ability to download content.
“We still think for the developed world our thesis has been true but I think as we get into more and more (of the) undeveloped world and developing countries that we want to find alternatives for people to use Netflix easily,” he tells CNBC.
Despite confirming that the company was working on the feature, Sarandos did not specify when downloading would actually be available.
This, of course, isn’t the first time Netflix has mulled the idea of taking content offline.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings changed his tune from “Never gonna happen!” to “Maaaaybe” in April when asked about offline viewing, saying the company should “keep an open mind” to the idea.
The ability to download video may become more important as ultra-HD 4K TV sets become more widely used. While many American Netflix users have internet connections that allow them to stream videos in HD quality, those same connections might not be able to handle a full-quality 4K stream. If users can download a 4K video file locally, they would be able to watch it at full resolution without worrying about loss of quality if their kids or roommates goes on a YouTube binge in the other room.
by Ashlee Kieler via Consumerist