Netflix Keeping Options Open To Offline Videos

Netflix is keeping its options open when it comes to allowing offline playback by its subscribers. In a recent earnings call, CEO Reed Hastings of the video streaming company said they have been focused on the simplicity of streaming and click-and-watch. However, the company needs to take into account the fact that not all networks are equal in the international market.

The revelation is in contrast to what Cliff Edwards said in December 2014. The Netflix spokesman said offline playback of videos by subscribers will never happen. Edwards said downloads were shorter fixes to the bigger problem of ensuring the availability of the video service over Wi-Fi.

But, after Amazon started allowing offline playback of videos on Android and iOS devices, the company gave a different explanation. Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt said users may find it complicated to download videos. It will not be instant since it will be necessary to have suitable storage on the device and manage the downloaded videos. Hunt added that users may not be motivated enough to do that and it may not be worth providing this “level of complexity.”

Netflix Keeping Options Open To Offline Videos

Netflix Keeping Options Open To Offline Videos - image credit: engadget.com

The speed of in-flight Wi-Fi is gradually increasing to allow videos to be streamed at 35,000 feet while some hotels provide guests the opportunity to stream Netflix videos though the televisions in the room without any extra charges. The Binge On program of T-Mobile also allows subscribers to stream Netflix videos without affecting the data caps.

While these can be considered as exceptions to the rule, streaming Netflix videos outside the home may be expensive and difficult to do. This is particularly true in a number of overseas markets where the company is aiming to get new subscribers. The company expanded its service to over 190 countries in January.

Even as the comments of Hastings do not mean offline playback will be coming soon to Netflix, it is worth mentioning that the company is open to changing its tone as it continues its international expansion. The motivation of the company to offer more products may increase as Amazon has started to offer streaming-only subscriptions in the market.

Posted by on Friday April 22 2016, 9:14 AM EDT. All trademarks acknowledged. Filed under Shopping. Comments and Trackbacks closed. Follow responses: RSS 2.0

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