In 2015 Amazon began allowing Prime members to download shows and films to watch offline. This was a significant coup over Netflix who had previously been a dominant force in streaming services. For almost a year now Amazon Prime customers have been able to watch their followed shows offline, many have been wondering when Netflix would follow suit.
Rumours have been around for months regarding Netflix providing a response to the Amazon Prime power play, but with further comment from Pethera COO Dan Taitz stating that sources within the industry have known for a while that Netflix is working on a download to go product, and that it would be launching within the end of the year.
Now one source, regardless of position, doesn’t mean too much, but as LightReading pointed out, Dan Rayburn, an analyst of some stature for Frost & Sullivan has also come out and stated that the development of a download to go platform for Netflix was an open secret.
This all comes in contrast to the words of the company in 2014 who decried the idea of offline playback as a “short term fix for a bigger problem” a large part of this belief lay in the idea that with the increasing spread of WiFi and 4G there would be constant internet connection, and thus no need for the service.
Clearly that hasn’t gone as smoothly as expected. If anything this latest kick up in the production of the rumour mill comes after what hasn’t been a great year for Netflix, with Amazon Prime actually turning out to be a cheaper streaming service with offline access, and a backlash to their VPN ban which stops people accessing content restricted to certain territories.
Netflix have been characteristically non-committal about it, reiterating their desire to “bringing a great streaming experience” but it may explain the upcoming price increase.
It will hopefully be a much needed shot in the arm for a company facing increasing competition in the online streaming arena. It will certainly be a boon for those of us wishing to catch up on House of Cards, or Orange is the New Black whilst on those extended journeys.