Words By: Kevin
I had recently wrote this article in November of 2016 for a technology site that ended up passing on it
Netflix users will now be able to download select content on mobile devices for offline viewing, an announcement that many have been anticipating for a long time.
While users have been able to watch programming through the iOS and Android apps without a WiFi connection, it previously had to be done through the cellular data plan they had signed up for. For many mobile users, that would mean incurring very high overage charges, because of how much data streaming video uses. With this new feature, users can download the content they want while connected to a WiFi network, and then once they are in an area without WiFi, such as on a car trip, they will be able to load up the videos they want to view.
With the new service, users will simply have to click a download button next to the movies or television episodes they wish to save for later. It won't include the entire Netflix library, however. Many of the offerings will include Netflix original programming, such as "Orange is the New Black", "Stranger Things", and "Narcos." It will also include popular films like "Pulp Fiction", "Good Will Hunting", and "Boyhood".
One of the biggest boons will be for parents, as kid-friendly films available for streaming include "Paddington", "Minions", and "Kung Fu Panda 3", meaning that family car trips are likely to become a lot less frustrating for the youngest members of the family. In 2017, Netflix will also be releasing new original content such as “A Series of Unfortunate Events” and “El Chapo”, as well as bringing on nine-time Emmy winner “American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson.”
This is likely to be of a great benefit to Netflix because it means that there will be more people watching their content at any given moment. Plus, this feature and the added convenience is likely to bring in a few additional subscribers, further contributing to the company's bankroll, solidifying them as the kings of video streaming.
This might be the dawn of a new age of streaming. AT&T recently announced its own service, DirecTV Now, which will offer streaming packages of a multitude of channels, with plans ranging from $30 a month to $70 month. The company also announced that use of the app will not count against users' cellular data plan. Brad Bentley, AT&T's chief marketing officer, spoke about the feature.
"The last thing you want to do when you're binging or enjoying entertainment is trying to calculate how many gigs I'm using or where I am in my data plan," Bentley said.
With DirecTV Now, and also Amazon allow Prime members to save videos for offline streaming, Netflix is smart to do this now. After all, if people love your service, it's not fair to limit it to WiFi networks and cellular data plans.