Netflix could be about to introduce the feature everyone really wants
Imagine Netflix, but without the (inter)Net.
It's looking increasingly possible that the streaming giant may allow users to download its content for offline viewing.
At the company's Q1 2016 earnings call this week, CEO Reed Hastings said they would 'keep an open mind on this' when asked why they haven't followed in the footsteps of Google Play, iTunes and more recently Amazon Prime (which offers offline viewing for a limited time) in letting subscribers take their shows wherever they want.
— Daredevil (@Daredevil) April 17, 2016
It's something that we can imagine every Netflix user would appreciate if given the option, although Hastings' comments don't seem to line up with what Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt told Gizmodo last September.
When asked about the feature then, he said: "I think it’s something that lots of people ask for. We’ll see if it’s something lots of people will use. Undoubtedly it adds considerable complexity to your life with Amazon Prime – you have to remember that you want to download this thing.
"It’s not going to be instant, you have to have the right storage on your device, you have to manage it, and I’m just not sure people are actually that compelled to do that, and that it’s worth providing that level of complexity,” Hunt added at the time.
We reckon most people would deal with bit a bit of 'complexity' if it meant they could take all of House of Cards onto a long-haul flight, but frequent commuters aren't really the customers Netflix has in mind.
As the service expands into territories with poorer internet infrastructure than the US and Europe, the need for offline viewing becomes a bigger issue. Hastings referred to 'an uneven set of networks' which might prompt them to reconsider their stance.