Netflix finally doesn’t consider offline viewing evil, but will we ever get it?


Netflix has long shunned downloading — they want all their content beamed to you from their servers every time you go to watch those videos. We’re not sure why. Perhaps some superstition about weak DRM. No matter the reason, they’ve been convinced of it for a long time.

But times could be changing. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wasn’t too declarative in his response to a question about downloading videos for offline viewing during the company’s Q1 earnings call, but he did leave a glimmer of hope:

We should keep an open mind on this. We’ve been so focused on click-and-watch and the beauty and simplicity of streaming. But as we expand around the world, where we see an uneven set of networks, it’s something we should keep an open mind about.

Having such a feature isn’t just a convenience thing for people going on long flights. Many people watch Netflix and other services on their way to work on subway trains and can’t get access. Perhaps they want to watch at work during their lunch break, but their data plan is too limiting or the connection is too weak. There are many reasons for many different people to appreciate a download feature.

Netflix seems to know that, but for one reason or another they’re not ready to pull the trigger just yet. Part of the issue could be tricky licensing issues which Netflix would have to rework, something that takes a lot of time and a lot of money. We’ll just have to wait and hope that the company will eventually give everyone what they’ve been asking for.

[via ReCode]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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