Netflix Offline Viewing Said to be an ‘Open Secret’, Could Launch by ‘End of the Year’


When it comes to streaming content, being able to save it for offline listening or viewing is becoming more and more important.

Services like Amazon, YouTube Red, and others offer the ability to download a video onto a device and watch it later, whether they’re connected to the internet or not. It makes it easier to use the service for many people, especially those traveling and not able to access a stable, or powerful, data connection on their mobile device.

Netflix‘s Chief Product Officer, Neil Hunt, said earlier this year that offline viewing for the platform wasn’t a “very compelling proposition,” but in April Reed Hastings, Netflix’s CEO, said that the company is keeping an “open mind” when it comes to the idea. The transition apparently hasn’t been kept quiet, though, as Netflix’s plans to rollout offline support are now considered an “open secret,” and many believe it is simply a matter of time before it happens.

According to a report from LightReading, offline viewing support from Netflix could land “by the end of the year,” based on what Penthera CEO Dan Taitz says is a real possibility. Penthera is a company that works on mobile video, and Taitz believes that when Netflix does shift to supporting offline viewing it will trigger a “landscape shift” in the entire market.

“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.”

Another source speaking with the publication, analyst Dan Rayburn of Frost & Sullivan Principal, says that Netflix’s plans are an “open secret,” and says that rumors regarding Netflix’s plans to launch an option for customers to download content have been going around for months now.

“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,” says Rayburn”

If Netflix does plan on launching a download option for content, the process is surely taking time to finalize deals with distributors and production companies to allow for that content to be downloaded onto devices. Netflix has a steady, and growing, stable of its own content, including popular shows like Orange Is The New Black, and Marvel’s Daredevil, so it’s possible, if not likely, that it would lead the charge of downloadable videos with its own content. Obviously it would be important for Netflix to offer as much content as it can, though.

Would you welcome a download option for Netflix?

[via Gizmodo; LightReading]