Netflix has successfully resisted the clamor to provide offline content in the past. This has already changed as the company announced that its subscribers will now be able to view movies and media content offline.
The offline mode feature is not yet available for all Netflix contents. A select number of titles are currently identified as offline-mode-ready and that they are only currently available to iOS and Android platforms.
If you are eager to dive into the new feature, the process is straightforward and easy.
First, make sure that you satisfy several requirements. If your device runs iOS, be sure that it is updated to iOS 8.0 or later. The same goes for Android users, who need to have their firmware updated to at least Android 4.4.2.
The Netflix mobile apps for these platforms also need to be their latest iterations.
How To Download And View Files Offline
To download a file, you can simply search for a title and see if it supports offline viewing. This is indicated by a download icon located on the description page. Just tap it and the download should begin. Completed files can be accessed and viewed from inside the My Downloads section.
If you do not have a specific title in mind and wants to browse the library first, you can navigate to the Available for Download option found in the Netflix menu. It will enumerate all titles available that can be viewed offline.
Managing downloaded movies and shows is also easy. Just head to Edit in the upper right corner of the screen. Then tap X to permanently delete the downloaded file. Bulk deletion is also possible by opening App Settings and tapping Clear All Downloads.
Why No Offline Mode Till Now?
There is still no word about the sudden turnaround. However, there are previous Netflix pronouncements that shed light on why the company has not introduced an offline mode for a long time. The argument is that pure online viewing is a marketing strategy that aims to differentiate the brand from the rest of competing media streaming services.
"It's the 'Paradox of Choice', the jam experiment — you put strawberry, apricot and blackberry jam in the supermarket aisle and you can persuade half the people coming down the aisle to taste the jam and maybe buy one," Neil Hunt, chief product officer at Netflix, said in an interview during the Berlin IFA show last year. "But if you decide to add lemon, orange, blueberry and grapefruit, by adding the choices you don't increase the number of people choosing one, but in fact you go the other way."
Additionally, Hunt also pointed out that an offline download feature will bring in an additional complication to the media streaming process. Speaking to Gizmodo, the Netflix executive argued that users will have to wait for the download to finish, therefore, it is not an instant experience. He also pointed that users also have reserve storage space, including the additional effort to manage downloaded files.
It appears that market trends finally prompted Netflix to change its position. There is a huge demand for it and rivals such as Amazon Prime have been successful in converting the feature as a valuable selling point.