It looks Netflix (NASADQ:NFLX) fans are getting a special Christmas present this year as the streaming video company has just announced a new feature that will allow for offline viewing.. Obviously, this is a feature that has been long sought by Netflix users as it creates more options for watching your favorite movies and television shows (and Netflix originals) on a plane, in a car ride, or to simply avoid data-connection charges.
This is the perfect time, then, to introduce this feature as people are traveling for the holiday season.
In a blog post, Netflix (NASADQ:NFLX) product innovation chief Eddy Wu explains, “While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their ‘Stranger Things’ binge while on airplanes and other places where internet is expensive or limited.”
So now, he goes on to say, “Just click the download button on the details page for a film or TV series and you can watch it later without an internet connection.”
Previously, Netflix (NASADQ:NFLX) had not allowed for any offline streaming options on mobile devices but, of course, the independent mobile app market has been able to provide those looking for such options with third-party applications. The new Netflix feature, then, could also put a stop to that fringe area of the market.
As yet, Netflix has not offered any details over exactly how much content they plan to offer offline, deferring to the fact that they are currently in (and will likely continue to remain) in discussion with property copyright owners.
Indeed, the company stated to the Associated Foreign Press: “Netflix is working with lots of partners globally to get downloading rights for the bulk of the content on our service. This is an ongoing effort as we know consumers want this capability and we are working to provide it.”
Perhaps this push is a result of facing more and more competition from digital streaming rivals like Amazon, who is also in the process of expanding its international streaming offerings. After all, Amazon already allows downloading of its videos, though some content is restricted by copyright holders as far as offline viewing is concerned. But with 86 million dedicated members, such an offering could help to cement its place as a leader in this still-evolving industry