If you’ve been waiting for Netflix to introduce offline viewing, don’t hold your breath.
Netflix’s director of corporate communications Cliff Edwards has put an end to the possibility of offline viewing, telling TechRadar “It’s never going to happen.”
While customers with finicky Wi-fi speeds would certainly prefer the ability to download a show like “House of Cards” for crystal clear viewing at a later time, Edwards called offline viewing a “short term fix for a bigger problem,” suggesting Netflix is betting that Wi-fi speeds will vastly improve in the coming years, negating the issue.
Netflix has been sceptical of the benefits of offline viewing in the past, stating back in 2012 that “There are some user cases where streaming isn’t best used — like when you are on a plane with your device, but it is such a small proportion of the market it’s not really beneficial to pursue this.”
While it’s easy to envision the average Wi-fi speed to improve so that standard-definition and high-definition streaming becomes largely a hiccup-free experience, Netflix has already introduced 4K streaming for those with “a steady internet connection speed of 25Mbps or higher.”
4K is still very much a fledgling market, but the ability to download TV shows and movies in 4K for offline viewing could allow those with a 4K TV to still enjoy 4K content like “Breaking Bad” and “House of Cards” without paying a premium for faster internet. But it sounds like there’s just not enough demand for Netflix to actively pursue offline viewing anymore.