The problem with cutting the cord and jumping on the Netflix bandwidth wagon is that subscribers remain tethered to an internet connection. Amazon’s Prime Video offers downloads, making its library more accessible than Netflix’s (and now with more Star Trek!); even Comcast, a member of the old guard of cable, supports offline viewing. But those desperate searches for free wifi could soon be a thing of the past for adherents of the red envelope, as Light Reading reports that Netflix is developing a feature to allow subscribers to download certain content for the long plane or train ride home.
The publication cites Penthera COO Dan Taitz, an “industry insider” who quotes his own sources inside of Netflix. According to Taitz and his sources, the streaming giant will probably roll out this offline viewing option by the end of the year. A Netflix spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny the development to Light Reading, but CEO Reed Hastings was talking about the company’s interest in the project as recently as April.
It’s worth nothing that Taitz is in the video-downloading technology business, but at least one other industry-adjacent seems to back him up on the prediction. Light Reading also quotes Dan Rayburn, a principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, who says he’s heard rumblings of Netflix’s offline viewing for “months now … they are in fact going to roll something out soon.”