Netflix (www.netflix.com) is responsible for more than 1/3 of all internet traffic and it’s increasing all the time as more people are moving away from expensive cable TV packages. One question that’s often asked as to why NetFlix doesn’t allow users to download shows to watch offline. One main reason is probably that they want to make it hard for people to pirate their shows. Making it streaming on-demand, while consuming a lot of bandwidth, prevents people having physical copies somewhere which could then be made available on torrent websites.
For years Netflix has maintained the stance that ‘hell will freeze over’ before they would allow users to store their content offline. They said that they had zero plans of making this a feature. There is a lot of pressure in the market to add this with services like Amazon Prime Video offering offline downloads, BBC & Channel4 having their stand alone player for offline access.
According to industry insider and Penthera (www.penthera.com) COO Dan Taitz Netflix will launch this by the end of the year, and he predicts that the whole landscape will shift further from the cable / on-demand model. “We know from our sources within the industry that Netflix is going to launch this product,” says Taitz. “My expectation is that by the end of the year Netflix will be launching download-to-go as an option for their customers.”
Downloading content for enjoyment at a later time is popular with those who are still on limited DSL internet connections or who travel a lot. People are wanting to watch ‘Orange is the new black’ on their iPads & laptops rather than the old movies that airlines often provide. Using public hotel Wifi to stream your favourite show when you are on holiday is also adding unnecessary load on hotel’s internet infrastructure. Often these services are actively blocked or throttled in hotels. If you are traveling out of the country you may also need to use a VPN to get around these content restrictions.
Of course NetFlix has neither confirmed nor denied this rumour, but we recon that it’s only a matter of time until they roll our this much wanted key feature. It’s also possible that they will release the feature as a premium add-on, in an effort to generate even more cash.