Offline streaming of films and television shows is the holy grail feature of on-demand content providers. The first provider to offer such a service worldwide will have a huge advantage over the competition, and a feature which other content providers would no doubt rush to implement.
However Netflix, one of the titans in the on-demand market and the seemingly most likely of providers to offer offline streaming, has crushed our dreams and will not be offering this service – period. Its company director, Cliff Edwards, has come out and said that Netflix has no plans to offer offline streaming, because they believe that it’s a “short-term fix for a bigger problem”, that problem being WiFi quality and access and mobile connectivity.
That makes sense… except there will always be a demand for offline content. Rural areas of Great Britain will not have decent internet connectivity for years- potentially tens of years – and people travelling by plane, train and sea will not always have access to WiFi or a decent mobile signal.
That’s where offline streaming comes in.
But whatever, it’s Netflix’s loss.
On-demand content providers that are interested in offline streaming and are assessing the demand and technological requirements for it include Amazon with Prime, Tesco with BlinkBox, Sky with Now TV, and Rakuten with Wuaki.tv. In response to Netflix, Amazon, which offers offline streaming in the U.S, said:
“We want our customers to be able to watch their digital videos on all devices, anywhere they are – that’s why Prime Instant Video is the only U.S. video subscription service that enables offline viewing – on a plane, in a car, anywhere you want to go.
Offline viewing is already available on Fire tablets and we’ll continue to roll out this functionality to other devices in the future.”
It won’t be long before others follow in Amazon’s footsteps.
Sadly, Netflix won’t be one of them it would seem.