Netflix exploring offline access to content options

Downloadable Netflix content on the way?

Netflix is considering changes that could ease the burden on its users’ mobile data plans by offering offline access to its video content.

Like its competition south of the border, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix may soon allow subscribers to download programming. It’s a potential tweak to the service that would be welcome news for users who don’t have access to high-speed internet and/or those who prefer to use a phone or tablet for viewing.

“We have talked a lot about this over the years and our belief is that broadband and Wi-Fi become more and more ubiquitous, available in more and more places that you are, more and more minutes of the day,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told CNBC.

“Now as we’ve launched in more territories … They all have different levels of broadband speeds and Wi-Fi access. So in those countries they have adapted their behaviors to be much more of a downloading culture. So in those emerging territories it starts to become a little more interesting. We still think for the developed world our thesis has been true but I think as we get into more and more (of the) undeveloped world and developing countries that we want to find alternatives for people to use Netflix easily.”

Netflix boasts a user base of 86 million people worldwide. Last week, the company announced plans to raise $800 million of debt in an effort to reach its goal of 50 per cent original content. Its long-awaited series “The Crown” hit the service last week, with a reported production price tag of $130 million.

Netflix’s internet connection speed recommendation are as follows:

  • 0.5 Megabits per second – Required broadband connection speed
  • 1.5 Megabits per second – Recommended broadband connection speed
  • 3.0 Megabits per second – Recommended for SD quality
  • 5.0 Megabits per second – Recommended for HD quality
  • 25 Megabits per second – Recommended for Ultra HD quality
  • Sarandos would not speculate on a potential timeline for introducing offline access, but did say the company is “looking at it now.”