The days of always needing an Internet connection to watch something on Netflix could soon be coming to an end.
The subscription streaming service announced on Wednesday that Netflix apps on both Android and iOS devices have been updated to allow viewers to download some of its content to view later, even if you don’t have an Internet connection, according to the Washington Post.
Customers have long clamored for such a feature, and Netflix executives previously said it was ‘never going to happen.’ But in April, chief executive Reed Hastings said the company would ‘keep an open mind’ about it as the company’s international growth forced it to grapple with limited connectivity in some areas.
The first shows to get the download treatment are, of course, original programs offered by Netflix. They include Orange is the New Black, Narcos and The Crown, according to the newspaper. However, it will expand over time, making it possible for subscribers to watch shows on the go, even if they might not be able – or willing – to stream.
The move might not just be limited to concerns with international customers. It also has to worry about competition at home, including Amazon, which started to allow some content downloading last year for its Prime customers. Both Epix and Starz also allow offline viewing for some of its programming, according to USA Today.
The ability to download should be available on iOS and Android devices now (although it might require you to update the app), and the available catalog to download already seems to be quite extensive.
At least in some international offerings of Netflix, the streaming service has included not just series for download, but movies as well. The Venezuelan Netflix, for example, allows subscribers to download Brad Pitt’s Moneyball as well as The Amazing Spider-Man. It’s also offers episodes of other non-Netflix television series, like The Blacklist and all the Star Trek series.
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