Netflix claims you don’t really want offline video support

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in movies on (#M0VY)
story imageNow that Amazon Prime is allowing offline video playback on iOS and Android devices, Netflix needs a better explanation for why it won’t do the same. Previously, Netflix has argued that fast, ubiquitous Wi-Fi access would eventually make offline playback irrelevant. But in 2015, on-the-go users still struggle with getting connected, whether it’s on a plane with Wi-Fi that’s too slow, or in a car where a few hours of streaming on mobile broadband can burn through your data cap.

Unfortunately, Netflix’s new excuse is even worse. Speaking to Gizmodo, Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt argued that offline playback is just too complex for people to handle. He described this as the “Paradox of Choice,” explaining that when you give people too many options, they end up not choosing anything at all. Netflix apparently believes offline playback would result in this sort of paralysis. In lieu of crippling users with choice, Hunt said Netflix could install local media servers on airplanes, trains, or hotels, so users can stream without an Internet connection. Can Netflix really install its entire catalog in local servers on every means of public transport? Besides which, Netflix is still talking about things it would like to do in theory, while Amazon is providing a service that’s actually useful right now.

Re: Good to see coverage, but nothing really new (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-09-14 10:06 (#MCK1)

It's a way to differentiate

I rarely listen to music at home, just radio stations (which play music)

However on the move I often listen. On today's train the signal is poor and intermittent. Tonight's boat will have wifi apparently, not convinced it will be much good off shore. Tomorrow I'll be data roaming in the Netherlands in the morning before a flight to Denmark in the evening which will have wifi albeit with in air caveats. Tuesday night I'm on a flight to Doha and then onto Singapore, which sometimes has phone signal but nothing stream able.

Through this it means a lot of playing from my own local music library and a couple of downloaded films. We do have Netflix - was watching it last night at home, but being able to watch a film on a plane is an important feature.
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