Netflix finally offers offline viewing
The video streaming giant will let users download videos on mobile devices, which it has long resisted. The move is aimed at developing markets where mobile bandwidth is sparse, and comes as the company faces increased competition from Amazon.
While the new option announced on Wednesday is available for all of Netflix’s subscribers, it could have greater appeal in international markets such as Africa and Asia, where internet service is less ubiquitous than it is in the United States.
Growth among U.S. subscribers has slowed in 2016. Netflix added just 370,000 subscribers during the third quarter and only 4.3 million since the third quarter of last year, suggesting they are reaching a saturation point.
In that same time frame, Netflix has added 13.2 million international subscribers, including 3.2 million in the third quarter. Much of that has to do with Netflix’s expansion by more than 130 countries earlier this year to over 190 nations currently. China is a notable holdout.
Not everything in Netflix’s vast library is available to download just yet, including the recently released “Gilmore Girls” revival. Currently available shows include Netflix-owned “Stranger Things,” “The Crown” and “Narcos” along with licensed shows and movies like “Parks and Recreation” and “Spotlight.”
“While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their ‘Stranger Things’ binge while on airplanes and other places where Internet is expensive or limited,” Eddy Wu, director of product innovation, wrote in a blog post.
The new feature is included in all plans and available for phones and tablets on Alphabet Inc’s Android and Apple Inc’s iOS platforms, the company said.
Originally appeared on Reuters