It looks like Netflix may get an option for offline viewing after all, which will allow subscribers to download movies and TV shows prior to watching.
Speaking to American TV outlet CNBC before the premiere of its new original series, The Crown, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said it’s a feature they’re “looking at it now, so we’ll see when” it actually happens.
Sarandos said this shift in the company’s policy has to do with the prevalent downloading culture that’s already a part of the audience’s behaviour in the 130 countries Netflix expanded to, at the beginning of the year.
“They all have different levels of broadband speeds and Wi-Fi access,” he said, talking about the varying heights of Internet infrastructure found in places like India and elsewhere. “…As we get into more and more (of the) undeveloped world and developing countries that we want to find alternatives for people to use Netflix easily,” Sarandos added later.
For what it’s worth, rival Amazon already offers offline viewing options for its Prime Video service. And with Amazon India expected to debut Prime Video in the country, that – amongst other things – could be the deciding factor for new subscribers and converts.
With Netflix facing saturation in its US home market, focusing on features that international viewers call for makes sense to drive a regular uptick in subscribers. Companies such as Google have long understood this, building India-specific features for YouTube in Smart Offline earlier this year, and following it up with the YouTube Go app just last month.