Netflix will allow customers to download some shows and movies to their devices for offline viewing, fulfilling a long-standing request from users for easier access to their favorite video content.
The streaming-video provider said Wednesday that hit shows such as “Orange Is the New Black,” “Narcos” and “The Crown” will be among the first series that customers can download. The feature is available now as an update to the Netflix app on phones and tablets powered by Android and iOS, the company said.
Only some types of content will support downloads at first, but more will be added in the future. And all Netflix users worldwide can take advantage of the new capability, regardless of what plan they have.
Although Netflix has been partnering with some airlines to provide access to streaming content, the download feature means customers can finally take their own viewing profiles on the go or where there is no Internet access.
Customers have long clamored for such a feature, and Netflix executives previously said it was “never going to happen.” But in April, chief executive Reed Hastings said the company would “keep an open mind” about it as the company's international growth forced it to grapple with limited connectivity in some areas.
A few months later, rumors surfaced suggesting that a plan was in the works. And now, it appears that Netflix has relented, giving its customers what they had wanted.