Netflix finally caved to the masses Wednesday and provided users with the option to
download content to watch offline.
All the 87 million users have to do is update the app to get the download icon at the corner of many of the shows and movies provided by the streaming service.
Unfortunately, not every title will be available for download, but many of the popular options like “Orange is the New Black,” “Stranger Things,” “Narcos,” “Love Actually,” and “Spotlight” are available to download directly to your device.
This feature comes just in time for many students returning home for the holidays. Students can download “Stranger Things” while on campus or at Starbucks to consume those endless hours at the airport or during the stressful drive up north with your family.
Also, if you’re at your crazy, cat hoarding aunt’s house and can’t crack her elusive Wi-Fi password, you can simply pull up the app, go to your downloaded episodes and escape for a few hours by watching Michael Scott decide to run a marathon after eating an obscene amount of fettuccine alfredo.
The new feature is long overdue, but necessary to ensure every consumer is given the ideal viewing experience.
Realistically, most subscribers have unlimited internet and will rarely use the download feature. However, everyone will occasionally step away from their router or wander into a neighborhood where their signal is non-existent.
If having Netflix at our fingertips for the past decade has taught us anything, it’s that buffering will drive you to madness. This new feature will ensure we never go without our addictive, mindless entertainment again.
Despite having offered streaming services since 2007, the company has not benefited subscribers with low or non-existent internet access other than continuing their DVD rental service. Now, all subscribers will be able to stay up to date on the latest trending shows, regardless of their internet strength.
Netflix has evened the playing field with its strongest competitor, Amazon, which has allowed users to download flicks for approximately a year. Amazon also offers a student price for Prime, which provides free two-day shipping along with many other streaming and storage services.
Amazon Prime is a student’s best friend when it comes to ordering things last minute or finding discounted discounts. However, its streaming site is slow to acquire the loyalty of millennials. The download feature was the one advantage it had to Netflix. Now, that edge is gone.
YouTube has also joined in the push toward downloadable options by introducing its “Red” premium service, allowing videos to be downloaded by those who pay for the service. Though most students have either learned to deal with the 30-second ads or have downloaded an ad-blocker, few use the website for downloading content for the simple purpose of re-watching videos.
Yet Netflix has an unarguable appeal toward college students. According to techinfographics.com, nine out of 10 American college students use Netflix, with 71 percent watching for two to 10 hours a week.
And its clientele is only growing. According to Forbes.com, the Quarter Three earnings released in October showed “Netflix added 370,000 new members, which is 70,000 more than expected. Also, 3.2 million new members were added internationally, which is 1.2 million above forecast.”
The download feature is only going to further cement the company’s presence in society. The Netflix app is available for all Android and Apple devices, allowing you to take your favorite shows with you in your pocket wherever you go.
Netflix originals are breaking boundaries and setting records across the field. In total, Netflix originals have won 90 awards and been nominated 414 times. “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” have taken home 168 nominations combined.
The desire for the streaming service is growing, as more and more hit shows become solely available on the site. Many are forgoing broadcast and satellite altogether in favor of watching what is available online. Netflix has its customers, now it simply must continue to come up with new ways to keep them happy.
Breanne Williams is a senior majoring in mass communications.