As more of the world discovers the joy of consuming content like television shows and movies on demand, the demand for services enabling such has risen. So much that Netflix, a provider of online streaming media, added a whopping 19 million subscribers in the last one year alone, a figure boosted no less by its ambitious international expansion to cover most of the world a year ago.
Today, Netflix has 94 million subscribers worldwide.
As evidenced by the rise of rivals like ShowMax, a video on demand service backed by giant South African internet and media company Naspers that has gone the extra route to remove the pain of having to use up too much data when streaming and availing content even when offline, as much as consumers want access to content on demand, there needs to be some contingency to enable them to enjoy access to that content even when they are not within reach of internet connectivity. Like say when one is travelling or there is a network outage or something of the sort.
Netflix knows this and that is why late last year, it finally brought offline viewing to its mobile apps.
Before then, that had not been possible on Netflix but had been a key selling point for its rival on the African continent and in several other markets, ShowMax, and had given it a leg up alongside other factors like the ease of making payments and a sizeable chunk of local content.
Starting yesterday, Netflix users can also have another option: to be able to store content for offline viewing on external storage (read microSD cards).
This is important because previously one could only save TV shows and movies for offline access to the device’s internal storage which can be very limiting. With saving to microSD now an option, the stage is set for users to be able to carry more episodes of their favourite TV shows with them on the go and not have to worry about dwindling onboard storage space.
Before you get too excited, there’s a disclaimer: not all devices are supported. So users of certain devices may not be able to take advantage of this feature. Since Netflix is not saying which devices are unsupported, we’ll all have to find out the hard way.
Other content apps like Google’s YouTube, also let users choose where to store offline video, internal storage or microSD. As is the case with YouTube, offline content on Netflix has to be watched within a certain time frame after which it is automatically purged.