The download capability will be available to subscribers to the streaming VOD company’s service at no extra cost. The new feature is included in all plans and available for phones and tablets on Android and iOS.
While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where Internet is expensive or limited. Just click the download button on the details page for a film or TV series and you can watch it later without an internet connection,” said Eddy Wu, Netflix’s director of product innovation, in a blog posting.
A number of originals including Orange is the New Black, Narcos and The Crown are available for download immediately, as are other series and movies. Wu said that more content available for download was “on the way”.
Adding download capability helps Netflix match the functionality of rival services such as Amazon Prime, which already permits downloading, as well as many over-the-air broadcasters’ and pay TV service providers’ online video services.
In addition to enabling existing subscribers to watch content on the go, the move is also likely aimed at pushing the service in parts of the world where connectivity is patchy or of poor quality.
Rival local players in markets including African players such as iROKOtv, Showmax, Trace and Afrostream have emphasised the need for download capability in extending the reach of their services.