Since it first debuted in 2007, Netflix’s streaming video service has remained largely unchanged. A lot of content has come and (mostly) gone, but the basic idea – that of a streaming, web-based service – has stayed the same.
That may not be the case for long. Netflix is reportedly considering adding offline functionality, which would enable users to download content and watch it offline. Subscribers would still be able to stream online, but they would also be able to enjoy Netflix in places without Wi-Fi or 4G. That second part, of course, would be a major change.
Yesterday YouTube announced YouTube Go, a new mobile app that provides sophisticated new features for offline video use. While YouTube Go will initially only be available in India, it will no doubt be introduced in other geographies once proven in.
There’s a growing trend afoot in video streaming. It’s called – wait for it – not streaming. That’s right – it’s about downloading the content to the mobile device, to be able to watch the video anywhere, anytime, regardless of the availability of a robust WiFi connection. This is because today, and the foreseeable future, ubiquitous broadband connectivity simply doesn’t exist.