Ever since Netflix revealed offline playback would come to Honeycomb tablets in 2011, people have been waiting in anticipation for the feature to arrive.
Unfortunately, in an interview with TechRadar, Netflix’s director of corporate communications and technology Cliff Edwards said “It is never going to happen”.
Edwards believes we are not too far from Wi-Fi everywhere and claims the film industry would be too stringent on how long users can stay offline for, making it an awkward system.
The film industry has already taken issue with Netflix, never mind losing an extra bit of income due to users staying offline. YouTube is currently rolling out offline play for certain regions, but it may be a hard task to convince the music industry to go with it.
Offline viewing is becoming critical for companies who have big followings in Asia, due to the lack of public Wi-Fi. However in the U.S. and Europe public Wi-Fi is fast becoming a norm, and the level of broadband speeds inside homes mean streaming is rarely an issue.
Since Netflix only works in the West, the company does not need to rush to appeal to the Asian audience. Netflix is also not very popular on mobile, losing in peak mobile internet traffic in the U.S. to YouTube and Facebook, while overtaking them both in overall peak traffic.
Netflix has made large investments over the past year, but the service itself has not changed much. The big investments have went into acquiring popular content and also creating more original programming, like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
The streaming service has confirmed it will develop 20 original series in the next five years, the latest a $90 (£56) million drama, named Marco Polo, which has got off to a pretty shaky start with critics panning it as a poor Game of Thrones clone.