Netflix CEO Hints At A Download Option For Movies, Shows

Netflix CEO Hints At A Download Option For Movies, Shows
NFLX Photo by Matt Perreault

Netflix may not be growing as fast as expected, but subscribers are not bothered about that. What they are interested in is the fact that they should be allowed to download their favorite movies and TV shows on their devices to watch them even in places with no access to the Internet. Good news awaits these people as the company’s CEO has hinted at a download option.

Netflix CEO hints at a download option

Netflix subscribers do not have a download option, and hence, there is no way for them to watch their favorite video content offline. And although CEO Reed Hastings has not promised subscribers might be able to download content in the future, he has hinted that the SVOD company could make changes to its longstanding policy.

During Netflix’s first quarter earnings call, Peter Kafka of Re/code addressed Hastings about the company’s stream-only philosophy, noting that competitors Amazon and YouTube have enabled downloading some of the videos they offer.

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To this, the CEO replied, “We should keep an open mind on this. We’ve been so focused on click-and-watch and the beauty and simplicity of streaming. But as we expand around the world, where we see an uneven set of networks, it’s something we should keep an open mind about.”

A great feature to have

Netflix has already made it clear that the reason it has limited viewing to streaming only is not technical, suggesting that licensing deals are the only barrier preventing it from doing so, says Re/code. Securing the offline viewing rights for movies and shows from the likes of Disney will not be easy for the company, but it might not be a problem for home-grown content like Narcos.

If Netflix actually comes up with a download option for its content, it will help subscribers conserve their phone’s data plans if they download it at home before leaving the comforts of WiFi. Downloading would also be very helpful for them before taking a flight because the speed of the Internet services available on many domestic airlines is usually not fast enough to stream Netflix.

Even though there might not be any chances of such a feature getting available anytime soon or if at all, it is a change worth welcoming since for the past several years, the company used to outright say that nothing of that sort will happen ever.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at
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