It has been nearly a week since Amazon announced its offline download availability for some Prime Video users, yet streaming provider Netflix remains firm that the company will not bring forward a similar feature as of yet.
In order to try and gain insight into the minds behind the decision, Gizmodo contacted Neil Hunt, Netflix's Chief Product Officer, for a discussion on the particular feature. Hunt initially responded by claiming he didn't believe offline downloads to be 'a very compelling proposition' and that Amazon has added a level of unwanted complexity to its service.
The article quotes Neil Hunt, saying:
Undoubtedly it adds considerable complexity to your life with Amazon Prime – you have to remember that you want to download this thing. It’s not going to be instant, you have to have the right storage on your device, you have to manage it, and I’m just not sure people are actually that compelled to do that, and that it’s worth providing that level of complexity.
Hunt then proceeded to argue that users become paralyzed and confused when confronted with a new control - however incremental in its size. This was evident in an update that allowed users to rate movie titles with half stars as well as the standard five, that consequently resulted in Netflix suffering an 11 percent drop in film ratings.
The Chief Product Officer justifies that 'every time you add a control, you reduce the total number of users who use them', a claim the company continues to stand by for its explanation behind the lack of offline downloads.
Hunt has claimed, however, that there is potential for Netflix functionality on commercial flights and public transport, despite the lack of this feature:
What if we can put Netflix in a rack box that essentially contains all of Netflix content that you could imagine putting in an airplane server, right along with our existing offerings? That for me is a more interesting thing; can we make Netflix work on a plane, can we make it work on a train, in hotels?
It is important to consider that Netflix has not ruled out offline downloads completely, and that it may very well become a reality for users in the future. The exciting prospect of streaming in more places is however a priority for the company, and could certainly improve the user experience for millions.
Source: Gizmodo | Image via Havana-Live