Netflix has long maintained a strict policy against offline viewing, even as competitors introduced the feature in their products. But the company started to change its tune earlier this year, and now it looks like Netflix offline viewing is closer than ever — at least when it comes to the technical features that would make it possible.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said during the company’s March-quarter earnings call on Monday that adding offline viewing wouldn’t be costly. As Business Insider reports, the cost for that capability is already factored into most content licensing deals.
Furthermore, Hastings said that cellular networks overseas are getting faster, which would make it easier for customers to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing.
“We’re open-minded about it as we’ve expanded globally,” Hastings said. While the CEO didn’t offer a timeframe for launching this feature, it certainly seems as though Netflix is indeed interested in actually deploying an offline viewing feature.
The feature would certainly be welcomed in many markets where users do not have access to affordable unlimited data plans, but would like to watch Netflix on the go. Downloading videos at home on Wi-Fi connections and watching them later on an iOS or Android device would be a terrific option. Not to mention that Netflix offline viewing would help out subscribers who frequently travel, offering them in-flight entertainment as well as access to their favorite shows that might not be available in other markets.
Meanwhile, Amazon Video is one Netflix competitor that has already made the feature available, and the company just made it even better for Android users.