On a press release issued today, streaming giant Netflix has announced its new update will let users download any content from the streaming platform without additional cost worldwide. The feature is available on Android and iOS.
The company specified not all series and films are included in the downloadable content.
Netflix intends to give users the opportunity to access their favorite entertainment in places where an internet connection is limited or non-existent for any reason.
The download feature will serve as more of an ‘offline’ addition.
Users can download the content, but it is going to be available for a limited amount of time.
— Mike Donovan (@MikeLikeBike) November 30, 2016
How does Netflix Downloads work?
To get the new feature, available for all kinds of mobile devices, users need to update Netflix to its latest version. Downloads will only work with Android 4.4.2 and up and iOS 8.0 or later.
After updating, Netflix will show a short dialogue to point users towards the download feature and to guide them towards the latest content available for offline viewing. There is a new category on the main menu called ‘Available for Download’ that also serves this purpose.
Customers can change the video quality of their download if they wish to save storage space. In the left-side menu, the ‘My Downloads’ tab contains all downloaded shows.
Here’s where users will delete them after watching. Also, available storage matches that of the mobile device where the download will take place.
The ‘My Downloads’ page will also show how much available watching time a user has with a given file, and the content cannot play outside of the Netflix app as a measure against copyright infringement. Movies and shows have an expiration date after download.
Netflix Vs. Amazon Prime Vs. Hulu
Amazon Prime had already introduced downloads on their streaming more than a year ago, but their content roster seemed very reduced when compared to Netflix’s selection. It featured something its competitors do not have: Critically acclaimed original content.
The only current disadvantage from the service might be the the inclusion of a season or episode of non-original content only after they have stopped airing, a category in which Hulu does a better job, but it is still not enough to compete.
Ad-wise, Netflix is the only one of the three who cuts ads entirely from its platform and content. Both Hulu and Amazon Prime squeeze ads into their interfaces, one way or another.
Netflix also offers the possibility of monthly payment, something that Amazon Prime fails to provide, and a price that is directly competing with that of Hulu, which makes it the unquestioned alternative when it comes to getting the most bang-for-the-buck.