Netflix users can now download content and watch it offline, thanks to an update that allows the streaming service to fill a gap between the number of subscribers and those actually watching.
The update means that, on compatible mobile devices, Netflix devotees can download content and watch it at a later time without an internet connection.
Previously, most Netflix content could only be streamed, meaning an internet connection was imperative to watch shows like House of Cards and Stranger Things.
“While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where Internet is expensive or limited,” Netflix director of product innovation Eddy Wu wrote in a post.
How do I watch Netflix offline?
Netflix’s newest feature is available across all package options at no extra cost on the latest version of the Netflix app.
However, the update is not available for laptop or desktop computers.
All Netflix Original shows are available for download, as well as some other TV series and films – just look for the download symbol, which looks like an arrow pointing to a straight line.
Here’s how to access Netflix’s latest addition:
- Download or update your Netflix app on your phone or tablet (available through the App Store or Google Play depending on your device).
- Click on the film or TV series you want to watch later without the internet.
- Finally, click the download button on the ‘Details’ page to take the program on the go. It will then appear in the ‘My Downloads’ section of the main menu.
Netflix said it was already possible for some series to be downloaded – such as Orange Is the New Black, Narcos and The Crown – and that more of its most popular products will soon be made available offline.
Australians buying but not watching Netflix
Netflix is hoping its newest feature will bring users back to the platform, as new research reveals Australians are barely using the streaming service despite an increase in subscribers.
Roy Morgan Research found 42 per cent of Australians with Netflix as their main subscription/pay TV service provider watched less than three hours a week, while 16 per cent didn’t use it at all.
The data, which was sourced from 1121 Australians, showed 35 per cent of people with a household Netflix subscription spend three to seven hours watching, and 14 per cent spend eight to 14 hours.
Less than one in 10 Netflix subscribers (9 per cent) had a real ‘binge-viewing’ week, watching 15 or more hours of content.
Netflix’s Australian subscriber audience is over 5.75 million – which has steadily grown from 5 million since August 2016 – but its pay TV rival Foxtel is receiving twice as much viewing time from users, the research states.
The majority of Foxtel subscribers spend at least eight hours a week watching, including over a third who watch for 15 hours or more, according to the research.
Around one in 20 Foxtel users haven’t watched it at all in the last seven days.
Meanwhile, new data has revealed Australia’s internet downloads have more than doubled over the past two years, as people watch increasing amounts of online video.
Nearly two in three people tune in to online video content, including Netflix, Stan and catch-up streaming services, according to figures from the Australian Communication and Media Authority’s 2015/16 report.
Australians downloaded nearly 2.2 million terabytes of data from April to June this year, compared to one million terabytes in 2014.
The data accounts for all internet usage but video was a key driver, according to the report.
“Catch-up and subscription video, particularly video content downloads, have driven data usage, rather than growth in the number of devices,” it wrote.
– with Anthony Colangelo