The case for Netflix allowing offline viewing keeps getting stronger.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said during the company’s earnings call Monday that adding offline viewing wouldn’t add a significant material cost for the company, since that capability is factored into most content licensing deals.
Before, some speculated that Netflix may have to negotiate new deals with content providers before allowing offline streaming.
Hastings also said that cellular data networks overseas are getting faster, which would make it easier for customers there to download videos for offline viewing.
In the past, Netflix was adamant that it would only allow online streaming. Even as recently as last fall, the company’s official line was that it would never allow users to download videos to watch offline. But that line started changing this year as Netflix expanded to nearly every country in the world.
“We’re open-minded about it as we’ve expanded globally,” Hastings said on the earnings call Monday, referring to offline viewing.
In June, a report in the networking industry publication Light Reading quoted some scuttlebutt that Netflix would introduce offline viewing this year.
Some of Netflix’s streaming competitors, most notably Amazon Video, allow offline viewing. However, there are some restrictions like time limits. For example, Amazon Video only gives you 48 hours to watch a downloaded video before it disappears from your device.
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