Bingeing on new and old favorite shows on Netflix can now be done without an internet connection, thanks to a new service just introduced on November 30, says U.S. News. This feature allows customers to download select movies and TV shows to their devices, which can then be watched later, sans Wi-Fi. It is a long-awaited addition to the powerhouse streaming service’s repertoire.
As The Huffington Post notes, the download option is the perfect solution for those who are traveling with limited internet access, including those on planes, long car rides, and trains. All users need to do is update the Netflix app on their tablets or smartphones to access the new feature. Not all TV shows and movies are available for download and offline viewing, but Netflix has said that they plan on continually adding to the download catalog, according to Reuters.
Brand new shows, such as Netflix dramas “The Crown,” “Orange is the New Black,” “Stranger Things,” and “Narcos” are all available for download. However, there are many noticeable movies and shows lacking the download ability, including Disney movies and TV, according to U.S. News.
The download feature has been seamlessly integrated into the Netflix app for both iOS and Android platforms. After they update to the newest version, all users have to do is look next to the “play” button for the “download” button if they want to watch offline. Shows without the “download” button are not yet available for offline viewing.
Netflix’s addition to their services arrive almost a year after Amazon Prime Video introduced the same thing, says Reuters. Netflix’s CEO was initially resistant to introducing downloading, but he eventually relented when it was clear customer demand was large and insistent. It will especially benefit customers internationally, in places where wireless internet connections are not as common as they are in the United States, or in places where it’s expensive or difficult to connect. This includes areas in Africa and Asia, Reuters notes.
Netflix’s download feature may just edge out their DVD service even further, says U.S. News. About 4.3 million subscribers still take advantage of DVD rentals by mail, but this number is down by about 10 million, as compared to five years ago. The only true advantage of getting DVDs in the mail is that customers can watch movies that have left the theaters long before they are available to stream elsewhere.
Generally, Netflix’s growth in regard to its streaming service has slowed in the United States. However, they are picking up speed internationally, as they recently expanded their services to users in 130 countries the world over, according to Reuters.
Netflix is offering their download feature at no additional cost to current subscribers. Shows added to the service that are not from Netflix’s own network include “Parks and Recreation” as well as last year’s Oscar-winner for Best Picture, “The Spotlight.” Those who have long commutes will enjoy being able to continue watching TV series and movies without eating up their data, and even more will appreciate the viewing flexibility for what is sure to be a vast download library.