Netflix Director of Corporate Communications Cliff Edward said less than two years ago that offline viewing was “never going to happen.” Neil Hunt, chief product officer at Netflix, admitted in September 2015 that offline viewing was something that lots of people ask for but more or less said people would be too stupid to manage downloads.
Has Netflix’s stance on the matter changed over the past year? It appears so.
In a recent interview with CNBC, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said that as they’ve launched in more territories, they’ve noticed that each have different levels of broadband speeds and Wi-Fi access. In those countries, he continued, citizens have adapted their behaviors to be much more of a downloading culture.
In such areas, the idea of an offline mode becomes a little more interesting. As they continue to expand into the underdeveloped world and developing countries, they’ll want to find alternatives for people to use Netflix easily.
When asked point blank if an offline mode will come to Netflix soon, Sarandos said they’re “looking at it now, so we’ll see when.”
Based on Sarandos' comments, if Netflix were to roll out an offline mode that would let users download and view programming without an active Internet connection, it wouldn’t be offered in developed nations like the US.
Image courtesy Eric Charbonneau, AP Images