Amazon last week announced that Prime members are now able to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing. It’s a move that many expected might force the competition to match but according to Netflix, it’s not going to happen.
Gizmodo UK recently caught up with Neil Hunt, chief product officer for Netflix. Hunt admitted that it’s a feature that lots of people have asked for but ultimately it isn’t a very compelling proposition.
Using Amazon as an example, Hunt said it undoubtedly adds considerable complexity to a user’s life. For example, you have to remember that you want to download something (that doesn’t seem too difficult). What’s more, downloads for offline viewing won’t be instant (naturally) and you have to have enough storage on your device (again, nothing outrageous here).
Hunt said he isn’t sure people are compelled to meet such requirements and that it’s worth providing that level of complexity.
Not offering offline viewing simply because you think people are too stupid to manage downloads seems a bit silly. As Hunt points out, however, each time they’ve added a new control or feature, the number of people that use them is reduced. He cited the addition of half-star ratings to their five-star rating system as an example, noting that they saw an 11 percent drop in ratings once the half-star option was added.
What’s your opinion on the matter? Would you like to see Netflix add offline streaming to its service? Is Hunt simply beating around the bush and offering up trivial excuses as to why they don’t plan to add it? Chime in with your thoughts in the comments section below.