Mike Vizzoni, Front Rush
Netflix recently released an update to their incredibly popular app that allows users to download content for offline use. This new feature will let people binge their favorite Netflix content with no internet connection what-so-ever. This is huge news and something that people have been waiting quite a while for.
Funny thing is that back in 2014 the current director of corporate communications, Cliff Edwards, stated that the company would NEVER support downloadable content. He said that offline play back would be a “short-term fix for a bigger problem”. The bigger problem being poor internet connection. Although most of America still suffers from poor internet connection, faster speeds are on the rise! According to Speedtest.com, we have seen the average upload speed of fixed broadband internet usage rise to 50 mbps in 2016. That is 40% higher than 2015 and broadband internet speed seems to be rising even more as the year went on:
So with the average speed of the internet increasing why is offline playback such a huge announcement for Netflix? This is most exciting for those who travel a lot or simply want to save on cellular data usage. Those of us who travel frequently may have been disappointed in the past when attempting to watch Netflix on a plane, subway, train, or any other form of transformation. You are not always able to connect to the internet when traveling and this new feature will let users download content to then watch while traveling without an internet connection. This is also great for those of us who may have an internet connection through cellular data but would rather stream Netflix without using said data. Cellular networks have a stranglehold on data and most people are trying to cut corners on data usage whenever possible. This can prevent people from going over their monthly data allowance which in turn helps save a ton of money.
Let’s quickly break down how offline playback works. First off, make sure you have updated the Netflix app to the most current version on whatever mobile device you normally us to stream. Once the app is updated you will see a new message pop up the first time you open it:
You are now officially able to download select content on Netflix. When this was first released many people thought that users would only be able to download Netflix’s original series and movies but Netflix has gone above and beyond! Good Will Hunting, Pulp Fiction, Mad Men, and Parks and Recreation are just a few examples of other production company’s content that you are able to download. Netflix spokeswoman Marlee Tart also announced that “Netflix is working with lots of partners globally to get downloading rights for the bulk of the content on our service”. Hopefully one day everything within Netflix will be available for offline playback but in the meantime, they have supplied a great little tool within the app that lets you search for downloadable content. Any show or movie that supports this new feature will have this option:
After clicking the arrow symbol, the content will begin to download. Always make sure the download has finished completely before exiting the app. Also, keep in mind that downloading shows and movies will take up physical storage on your device.
Coaches, be sure to share this info with your players. I am sure many of them enjoy watching Netflix on the way to or home from games. This new feature will surely help them save on data and I know when I was in college my parents would have been thrilled about that.