Netflix Working on Offline Viewing Feature, Might Arrive Soon

Chaitanya Tapase

Netflix, the streaming giant that is building a service tailor made for binge-watchers, is reportedly working on a new feature that might allow users to download and view content offline. Though the speculation of such a feature has been making the rounds of news circles for a while now, the confirmation from separate sources has added more fuel to the fire and we might be looking at an official roll-out before the year-end.

Imagine watching your favorite shows anytime, anywhere | Photo: Kaspars Grinvalds / Shutterstock.com
Imagine watching your favorite shows anytime, anywhere | Photo: Kaspars Grinvalds / Shutterstock

The Industry-changing Move

YouTube realized the importance of having offline videos available to some end-users where bandwidth is limited and/or pretty expensive. They have an offline videos mode in their mobile app for a while and Netflix is probably looking at the advantages that this feature provides. Daniel Taitz, the COO of Penthera, a “download and go” software company has indeed said they’re working on downloadable content for Netflix. How the feature will work, still isn’t clear.

The second confirmation of the feature being added came from Frost & Sullivan Principal Analyst Dan Rayburn. According to Rayburn,

It’s a natural progression for Netflix to want to have some of their content available for consumers to watch offline, and we’ve been hearing for months now that they are in fact going to roll something out soon.

Besides YouTube, even Amazon Prime, Netflix’s biggest rival in terms of premium content, also has has this feature on their Amazon Prime Video service. So there is definitely weight in Rayburn’s arguments. Taitz has previously worked with Comcast and Starz Entertainment to implement a similar feature for them. While the catalog for downloadable content on Comcast is limited, Netflix might take a different approach.

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Taitz explained that as consumer awareness grows, the demand for this feature will also grow.

They know about downloads because before there were streaming services people downloaded movies and videos from iTunes.

The Challenge: Content Rights

Netflix and other service providers can actually provide the offline viewing feature easily, if it wasn’t for the issue of Content Rights. Rayburn explained the issue, as follows –

Netflix will be limited by the studios in terms of which titles are available for download so we’ll have to see just how much of Netflix’s inventory is offered and which devices will be supported.

He also added that all of Netflix originals will be available for offline viewing, since Netflix owns those shows. Great news for Daredevil fans, eh?!

Excited or Cautious?

Let us know if you’re excited to see this new feature being rolled out. Or is it going to be another dud that will wash away the cheer by poor implementation?

ALSO READ: 4 Chrome Extensions That Bring Features You’ve Always Wanted to Netflix

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Chaitanya Tapase has varied interests in Technology from Android to Windows to DSLR Photography. On weekends, you'd find him catching up on TV Shows like Game of Thrones and enjoying House Music.