Popular video streaming service Netflix is reportedly working on a download feature to enable offline viewing for its subscribers.
As many of you already know, Netflix streaming relies on an internet connection, which means that you can only watch programs on Netflix online. Should your connection drop, buh-bye Netflix binging.
An offline viewing option has been rumored for quite some time now, although Netflix never confirmed it. Nevertheless, Penthera's chief operating officer and industry insider Dan Taitz says the feature should become available by the end of the year. Taitz says that industry sources confirmed the upcoming feature, but he doesn't mention any precise timeline for the release — just a deadline.
"My expectation is that by the end of the year Netflix will be launching download-to-go as an option for their customers," says Taitz, as cited by LightReading.
While this is still not an official confirmation, it does boost expectations of an offline viewing feature for Netflix content. This move would make sense and could significantly boost Netflix's appeal, especially since Amazon, Comcast and others are already offering such perks.
Bolstering Taitz's claims is Dan Rayburn, a principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, who confirms that Netflix does indeed have a download solution in the works. According to the analyst, this option is somewhat of an open secret within the video streaming community — everyone knows about it, but it's not official just yet.
"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," Rayburn adds.
The company is still keeping mum about such plans, but it did not deny that it was considering it either. In April, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said he was open to the idea about downloadable Netflix programs, albeit he offered no product road map or details. Simply put, the executive neither confirmed nor denied plans of an offline viewing feature in the cards, which only boosted hopes of an imminent launch.
The company is still not ready to make any announcement in this regard, simply noting that it's constantly working on improving the experience.
If Netflix does indeed plan to launch a download option for offline viewing by the end of this year, more information should come to light in the near future. We'll keep you posted as soon as we get more details, but take everything with a grain of salt until an official announcement is given.