Netflix has been dragging its feet when it comes to offline viewing, even as competitors like Amazon and YouTube happily offer the feature. But a new report claims the video streaming giant will finally catch up to its rivals later this year.
The news comes from trade publication LightReading which quotes an anonymous insider along with a few streaming industry experts. Netflix could add a “download-to-go” option by the end of the year according to Penthera COO Dan Taitz. Frost & Sullivan analyst Dan Rayburn adds that it’s pretty much an open secret within the industry at this point.
Netflix declined to comment, simply noting that the company is “always exploring ways to make the service better.” However, CEO Reed Hastings recently hinted that he was open to the idea during an earnings call in April. That was already a big step forward from a few years earlier when the company promised to never offer the feature. Now it sounds like we could be just months away from watching Orange is the New Black on our next flight.
The exact details of how the new feature will work are a little less clear. Netflix will likely put limits on how many videos you can store locally at once and how long they last. Hollywood studios could also block some movies from being downloaded entirely.
Still, if you spend a lot of time traveling without an internet connection this is great news. Now we just have to wait for Netflix to make it official.