Historically, Netflix has insisted it will not offer video downloads to its tens of millions of subscribers. But in today’s Q2 earnings call, CEO Reed Hastings sang a different tune: “We’re open-minded about it,” he said when asked about the possibility of offline viewing.
A common feature in streaming music apps, offline viewing is something customers want for obvious reasons. Hastings first hinted at the possibility of adding offline downloads during Netflix’s last earnings call in April. Prior to that, the company insisted it would not happen. But adding the feature, as Hastings noted today, would not incur additional costs—and the option gets more attractive as Netflix expands to countries where Internet connectivity is more limited.
Hastings gave no hint of a timeline, but as Netflix’s subscriber growth slows and competition heats up, perks like this may well find their way into the Netflix experience.