Just over a month ago, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings gave millions of subscribers a glimmer of hope when he commented that the company should "keep an open mind" about offering offline viewing. Now, according to Light Reading, industry insiders and a principal analyst from a leading market research company have confirmed that Netflix is developing a "download to go" feature and plans to launch by the end of the year.
Analyst Dan Rayburn of Frost & Sullivan vouched for the development, according to Light Reading, explaining that "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." But all the details aren't set yet. Commenting on how the service would likely work, Rayburn added that Netflix would be "limited by the studios in terms of which titles are available for download so we'll have to see just how much of Netflix's inventory is offered and which devices will be supported."
Two of the company's main competitors, Amazon Prime and Google Play, have offline streaming options, but that hasn't swayed Netflix in the past, as Gizmodo notes. In fact, the company's chief product officer Neil Hunt said previously that he felt it was something a lot of people asked for but would not use. In response to the recent rumors, Netflix spokesperson Anne Marie Squeo would not confirm nor deny the change of heart.
"While our focus remains on delivering a great streaming experience, we are always exploring ways to make the service better," she told Light Reading. "We don't have anything to add at this time." Maybe this incentive will make thousands of subscribers stay in the wake of the coming price hike.
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