The rumours just won’t go away – and now Netflix’s very own chief Ted Sarandos has weighed in on the possibility of offline viewing with even more good news: it’s only a matter of time, people.
After initially refusing to bow to pressure to introduce offline playback, speculation started to mount this summer that Netflix was changing its mind. Then, just last month, reports emerged that it was launching offline viewing exclusively for Netflix Originals by the end of the year.
Now, Sarandos – the streaming service’s chief content officer – has confirmed to CNBC that the ability to download TV shows and movies to watch offline is definitely in the works.
“We have talked a lot about this over the years, and our belief is that broadband and Wi-Fi become more and more ubiquitous, available in more and more places that you are, more and more minutes of the day,” he said.
“Now as we’ve launched in more territories… They all have different levels of broadband speeds and Wi-Fi access. So in those countries, they have adapted their behaviours to be much more of a downloading culture.
“So in those emerging territories, it starts to become a little more interesting. We still think for the developed world our thesis has been true, but I think as we get into more and more (of the) undeveloped world and developing countries that we want to find alternatives for people to use Netflix easily.”
(Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos and CEO Reed Hastings)
So, because Sarandos wants offline viewing available to users with slower internet connections, it won’t actually be available in the US. Maybe President Frank Underwood can do something about that?
He also didn’t say when the feature would launch, but that they’re “looking at it now, so we’ll see when”.
Netflix rival Amazon became the first online streaming service to support offline viewing with Prime Video on iOS and Android devices in November 2015. But unlike Netflix’s plans, Amazon initially only offered the option to developed countries like the US, the UK and Germany.
Want up-to-the-minute entertainment and tech news? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Digital Spy Facebook page and ‘Follow’ on our @digitalspy Twitter account and you’re all set.