Earlier this year, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings made it clear that the company was keeping an open mind about bringing offline viewing to the streaming service. On Thursday, Light Reading published a story claiming that the feature is currently in development, and that it should go live before the end of the year.

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“We know from our sources within the industry that Netflix is going to launch this product,” Penthera COO and industry insider Dan Taitz tells Light Reading. “My expectation is that by the end of the year Netflix will be launching download-to-go as an option for their customers.”

Frost & Sullivan Principal Analyst Dan Rayburn confirms Taitz’s declaration, saying that he and others have “been hearing for months now that they are in fact going to roll something out soon.”

Unfortunately (but expectedly), Netflix couldn’t confirm or deny the report: “While our focus remains on delivering a great streaming experience, we are always exploring ways to make the service better,” says Netflix spokesperson Anne Marie Squeo. “We don’t have anything to add at this time.”

Although downloading content to watch it on the go is a far less common method of watching shows and movies than simply streaming the content, Taitz, whose company, Penthera, develops video downloading technology, believes that offline viewing will be an important feature for streaming services going forward.

“I still view download as something that’s emerging into the consciousness of consumers,” says Taitz. “They know about downloads because before there were streaming services people downloaded movies and videos from iTunes, but they’re not necessarily looking for download as a feature of their streaming service they’re already paying for.”

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