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Netflix finally confirms it’s working on an offline feature

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David Cornish
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Earlier this year we brought you whispers that Netflix was working on an offline mode, allowing users to download content to take on the move, or watch with unstable internet connections. They were just rumours though, and we'd crossed all our fingers that they might be true. And they were.

Praise be to the streaming gods, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos has confirmed to CNBC that Netflix is looking to launch an offline mode, because - shock of shocks - it turns out not all the world enjoys the super smooth broadband speeds of the USA.

"We have talked a lot about this over the years and our belief is that broadband and Wi-Fi become more and more ubiquitous, available in more and more places that you are, more and more minutes of the day," said Sarandos. 

"Now as we've launched in more territories… They all have different levels of broadband speeds and Wi-Fi access. So in those countries they have adapted their behaviours to be much more of a downloading culture. So in those emerging territories it starts to become a little more interesting. We still think for the developed world our thesis has been true but I think as we get into more and more (of the) undeveloped world and developing countries that we want to find alternatives for people to use Netflix easily."

Other services, such as Amazon Prime, have seen value in offering offline modes to users regardless of their internet speeds or Wi-Fi access. They get that not all users will be travelling through areas that can pump high-quality video into their tablets or smartphones, and that some might not wish to pay for the additional data allowance required to access videos on the move. 

As to when this offline mode would come to Netflix? Sarandos said the company was "looking at it now, so we'll see when".

Fingers crossed it's in time for us to enjoy a New Year's hangover from a bed that's too far away from our Wi-Fi router. 

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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