By Jasmine Bratton
With each passing day, the streaming service Netflix is growing stronger, with its variety of original content and highly-desired blockbusters filling its already impressive library.
The lineup of growing hits such as Stranger Things, Luke Cage, and the Voltron revival stand out just as well as the Disney acquired Jungle Book and Captain America: Civil War. Netflix has risen from a simple DVD rental program to a family necessity, making their future potential even more curious.
Allegedly, Netflix is potentially introducing offline viewing within the next two months. Offline viewing would let customers download their favorite tv shows and movies on a device and be able to watch them without wifi.
Youtube has a service like this called Youtube Red. Subscribers are allowed to download videos onto their phone or computer memory and watch them at any time. Amazon also offers this service. Netflix has neither confirmed nor denied the rumor, but a steady buzz has quickly spread through the tech community on the news.
Though in 2014 CEO Reed Hasting denied a future of offline streaming for Netflix, deeming it unnecessary when their streaming service was already working so well, offline streaming would be a huge new selling point.
Customers would have more options, such as the ability to watch offline on planes, trains, and long car rides. Their would be no more haggard mothers searching for the wifi password in a packed supermarket. No more bored students in the dorms after another campus wide internet blackout. Customers would definitely benefit, and even more positive changes could be achieved as well.
On the flip side, the service could come off as underwhelming. Would the movies and tv shows be automatically removed after their time on Netflix is up? How much space would be available? Would Netflix limit what content could or could not be downloaded? And most importantly, would you have to pay extra just to use it?
“I’m not sure if I would actually use online streaming,” sophomore Ashley Augusty said. “It seems like a cool concept, but I don’t know how useful it will actually be.”
By contrast, sophomore Emily Nardone is welcoming to it.
“I would really like that because I’m traveling a lot to New England for school breaks, and being able to watch Netflix on a plane would be great, because it would pass the time quicker,” Nardone said.
As a former Youtube Red user, I realize that offline is a dazzling concept to use. Stuck in the deep country of Byhalia, Mississippi with a fading data connection, it was offline streaming that saved me from only filing my time with shucking peas with the grandparents. Yet, I never really got a chance to use it after that because I was reluctant to use too much memory on my phone. I believe if Netflix is able to balance out the demand for online streaming with the requirements it will need to have, they will definitely have a successful product on their hands.
Still, Netflix has confirmed nothing. Time will tell if offline streaming will be the next step Netflix will take on their successful journey.