The rumor comes courtesy of trade publication LightReading who cite industry sources including the COO of Penthera, a company that specialises in the secure download and storage of videos on mobile devices.
According to Penthera’s Dan Taitz, Netflix’s offline viewing might be ready by as early as the end of the year.
“My expectation is that by the end of the year Netflix will be launching download-to-go as an option for their customers,” he said in an interview with LightReading.
The details were further corroborated by Frost & Sullivan analyst Dan Rayburn, who called Netflix’s offline plans an open secret in the streaming video community.
A shift toward download
Netflix themselves have previously indicated that offline viewing could be an upcoming focus as the service launches in countries with less stable internet infrastructures, but the feature would also be of benefit in existing markets where signal blind-spots are still common.
In the past Netflix has said that the real solution to the problem of blind-spots is for the increased proliferation of Wi-Fi hotspots, particularly on transport but these rumors appear to suggest that more Wi-Fi isn’t a feasible solution everywhere.
Amazon Prime, Netflix’s main competitor, already allows offline viewing of its service, which saves content locally on your device and allows it to be watched for up to 30 days.