This is actually a pretty big deal. Netflix indicated in the past that it did not intend to offer downloadable content, citing widespread connectivity in the U.S. as a big reason why offline viewing wouldn’t make much of a difference. Earlier this year, however, Netflix expanded its availability to more than 130 new countries. Netflix will need to adapt to its greater international pool of potential subscribers by looking into offline viewing, according to Variety.
Offering downloadable content isn’t exactly groundbreaking in the market of streaming services. Amazon Prime has given subscribers access to content to download for offline viewing, which means there have been more TV fans that have been able to catch up on Mozart in the Jungle on a long flight than settle in for a binge of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Amazon’s offer hasn’t given it an edge over Netflix, but Netflix exploring a similar option could mean that those who might be shopping around for a streaming service might choose the vast library at Netflix over what is available with Amazon Prime.
There has been no confirmation thus far that Netflix will be offering downloadable content in the particularly near future, so new subscribers enticed by the possibility won’t have access to the perk just yet. Still, news that the folks at Netflix are opening their minds to expand on the options for streaming video means that limited connectivity for some might not be an issue forever. Different types of Netflix formats may need to be offered in different countries to fit the audiences. (For example, now that countries like India are offering streaming video at a fraction of the price, Netflix may need to change its plan there, too.)
Of course, it would be nice if Netflix were to introduce a few new perks–and not just to international markets or frequent flyers. Given the service has recently and sneakily raised its monthly price in the U.S. without changing what that price offers, existing subscribers might expect more if they’re going to stay on.
Offering an option for offline viewing would be a mighty endeavor for Netflix, considering how much content is available, but the service has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years. There can be little doubt that downloadable video could be doable for the juggernaut website. New subscribers would get a lot of bang for their buck if this change occurs, so hopefully those open minds at Netflix will get to work on making offline viewing an option. Let’s just hope it wouldn’t come with a price change.
For a look at the best of what Netflix has to offer streaming as of now, check out our list of the service’s best original series. Don’t forget to take a look at our summer TV premiere schedule to see when your favorite shows will be returning to the airwaves.
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