Netflix announces offline viewing for smartphones and tablets
Thursday 1 Dec 2016 7:28 a.m.
Offline downloads are only available on smartphones and tablets (Reuters)
You can now download Netflix shows and watch them offline.
The global streaming service announced on Thursday morning (NZ time) users can now download select TV shows and films to view later on smartphones and tablets - but not PCs.
Shows available for download at this stage include Netflix originals Stranger Things, The Crown, Narcos, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, and other networks' shows like Shameless and Broadchurch.
In a blog post announcing the feature, Netflix director of product innovation Eddy Wu said the feature was in response to customer feedback on viewing habits.
"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."
He said more content will become available for download in the future.
Programmes can be downloaded within the Netflix app on iOS and Android.
The addition of the service is somewhat of a U-turn for the streaming service; in 2014, Netflix director of corporate communications and technology Cliff Edwards told TechRadar that offline viewing was "never going to happen".
When rival service Amazon Prime Video announced offline viewing in 2015, Netflix Chief Product officer Neil Hunt said, "I still don't think it's a very compelling proposition."
Netflix has 86 million subscribers in more than 190 countries.
Netflix NZ, which launched in March 2015, had 264,000 paid subscribers at the end of 2015, according to Roy Morgan Research.