& cplSiteName &

Netflix Queues Up Video Downloads

Mari Silbey
6/23/2016
50%
50%

Following similar moves by Amazon, Comcast and others, Netflix is now working on a feature that will allow subscribers to download certain programs for offline viewing, according to industry insider and Penthera COO Dan Taitz. And Taitz thinks there will be a landscape shift when the new Netflix feature arrives.

"We know from our sources within the industry that Netflix is going to launch this product," says Taitz. "My expectation is that by the end of the year Netflix will be launching download-to-go as an option for their customers."

Industry gossip from a technology vendor is one thing, but Frost & Sullivan Principal Analyst Dan Rayburn confirms that Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is developing a downloading solution and says that it's something of an open secret in the streaming video community.

"It's a natural progression for Netflix to want to have some of their content available for consumers to watch offline, and we've been hearing for months now that they are in fact going to roll something out soon," says Rayburn.

For Netflix's part, CEO Reed Hastings said earlier this year that he was open to the idea of offering video downloads, but the company is still being coy about its actual product roadmap, unwilling to offer either official confirmation or denial.

"While our focus remains on delivering a great streaming experience, we are always exploring ways to make the service better," says Netflix spokesperson Anne Marie Squeo. But she adds, "We don't have anything to add at this time."


Want to know more about video and TV market trends? Check out our dedicated video services content channel here on Light Reading.


Taitz at least has reason to hope that Netflix will launch its downloading option soon and create a wave of new demand for the feature. His company Penthera Partners Inc. develops video downloading technology with customers that include Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Charter Communications Inc. and Starz Entertainment LLC . While the company has been successful at attracting marquee clients, however, actual usage of the technology is still limited. Taitz says that Charter, for example, only offers a handful of shows for download each month, and many of those are from Starz, which requires a premium subscription.

Comcast's deployment is broader, but the company isn't sharing any consumer adoption numbers, suggesting that pick-up isn't high. (See Comcast Cloud DVR Storms Down East Coast.)

"The majority of our customers use streaming to watch content on-the-go, which is why we've been so focused on growing our catalog of live streaming networks and building out more WiFi hot spots," says Vito Forlenza, Comcast Cable's senior director for TV Everywhere content and product strategy. "That said, it's less about evaluating the volume or frequency of downloads, and more about the convenience it offers customers at the moments when they need it."

Despite what appears to be slow adoption, Taitz believes there's still a big future ahead for video downloading.

"I still view download as something that's emerging into the consciousness of consumers," says Taitz. "They know about downloads because before there were streaming services people downloaded movies and videos from iTunes, but they're not necessarily looking for download as a feature of their streaming service they're already paying for."

In other words, as consumer awareness grows, demand for content downloading should rise.

Taitz also thinks expansion into international markets -- regions where internet connectivity can be lacking -- will be good for Penthera's business. And Taitz sees a big opportunity with programmers like Starz because many of them are now launching their own direct-to-consumer subscription services. These networks represent a brand new set of potential customers for Penthera.

With regard to challenges, one of the biggest barriers to greater adoption of video downloading is still the issue of content rights.

Referring to Netflix's plans, Rayburn says, "Netflix will be limited by the studios in terms of which titles are available for download so we'll have to see just how much of Netflix's inventory is offered and which devices will be supported."

He adds, "One would also imagine that all of Netflix's originally produced content would be available as a download, since Netflix owns that content."

Rayburn also brings up another downside to downloading, however.

"It would make sense to focus on mobile device support over streaming media boxes connected to the TV as that's the real benefit of a downloading service," notes Rayburn, "but the service will be limited in use to a degree, since mobile devices can't store too many movies."

Consumers have generally applauded the introduction of downloading features, like the expansion of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN)'s downloading option to Android and iOS devices last year. However, they don't necessarily follow through with adoption.

Whether that behavior changes when Netflix launches its downloading solution remains to be seen.

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/25/2016 | 2:41:33 PM
Re: Questions almost answered
I'm a little surprised by this. Downloading seems counterintuitive to Netflix's strategy, although giving customers the ability to do this might make them think twice about canceling services at some point. This option gives customers a new dynamic where they can watch things even if they don't have the bandwidth available in a car, airplane etc. 
FREETELEVISION
50%
50%
FREETELEVISION,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/25/2016 | 8:39:25 AM
VIDEO DOWNLOAD
This is a feature that is already on Amazon, Starz and VUDU TO GO. I love it, and the grandkids love it. They all have a tablet of some sort, and I showed them how to download movies. Amazon auto deletes after a couple weeks I think. That way they don't overload their tablet. VUDU TO GO is movies we already own. Those can be downloaded and kept forever on their tablets.

 

Kids love it because it's a 2 hour trip to here. Now they don't have to fight over DVD Player in car. They watch the movie of their choice and I don't have a bunch of DVD's all over the place.
ethertype
50%
50%
ethertype,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/24/2016 | 2:08:05 PM
"Limited"
It seems to be missing the point to talk about how many movies you can store on your phone. I only want to store 2 or 3 movies, or a few hours of a TV show, for a long plane ride or another block of time where I don't have any connectivity. That, to me, is the killer app.
Michelle
50%
50%
Michelle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/24/2016 | 12:59:09 PM
Questions almost answered
The question of downloading Netflix content may finally get an answer. I can see value in offering some content for offline viewing. I'm certain we'll see some sort of rights management employed to limit sharing (as with Amazon Music offline playlists).
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Web-Scale View

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Heavy Reading's former chief analyst Patrick Donegan shared insight from the recent web-scale operators report, which featured research on how web-scale operators view the market, the best web-scale companies to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Cloud Scale Networking: Automation, Virtualization & Simplification

1|18|17   |     |   (1) comment


Cisco's Sanjeev Mervana outlines the latest innovations in networking technology at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.
LRTV Custom TV
ADVA Talks Innovation & the Future of Networking

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Le Maistre and Christoph Glingener, CTO of ADVA Optical Networking, discuss the current state of the industry, cooperation and collaboration, open innovation and the future of networking.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Infinite Video Platform

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Infinite Video Platform allows service providers to deliver broadcast-quality video over IP networks. Infinite video supports many devices, from 4K TVs to tablets to game consoles. Join Cisco's Rajeev Raman for a brief tour and live demo.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy: Ability to Adapt Key for NFV

1|16|17   |   6:40   |   (0) comments


Speaking at Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Masergy's VP, Global Technology, Ray Watson, said agility is key to providing the mix and match NFV-based services that are driving business for the managed service provider today.
LRTV Interviews
Equinix: The Data Explosion

1|13|17   |   4:16   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Eric Schwartz, president of EMEA, Equinix, talked about how Equinix is helping its customers manage the influx of data today, and how it's preparing for a future filled with millions of connected IoT devices.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Changing Data Center Landscape

1|12|17   |   6:05   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision event in Rome, Heavy Reading's Senior Analyst Roz Roseboro talks about how virtualization is impacting data center evolution and how that evolution is affecting the relationship between service providers, data center operators and public cloud providers.
LRTV Interviews
Boingo: Prepping for Millions of Devices

1|12|17   |   5:07   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Boingo's CTO Derek Peterson discusses how wireless operators will address the needs of low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth apps at the same time, the need for more MHz, the impact of IoT and more.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast Shows Off Gig Gateway at CES

1|11|17   |     |   (1) comment


With its largest presence at CES in years, Comcast took the wraps off its long-awaited gigabit gateway and a new platform for managing the home WiFi network. Light Reading Senior Editor Mari Silbey sat down with EVP Chris Satchell to discuss the latest Comcast advance, and met with VP of Product Strategy and Development Andrea Peiro to walk through a demo of the ...
LRTV Interviews
Colt: End-to-End Key for 2017

1|10|17   |   6:21   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Nico Fischbach of Colt said having a multi-carrier, end-to-end service proposition is going to be key for 2017 -- and SD-WAN is instrumental in making it happen.
From the Founder
Cisco's Clemson on Mobile Cloud Video

1|9|17   |     |   (1) comment


Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators. "If you think about where we're going… whether it's a mobile application, or a video ...
LRTV Custom TV
VMware Telco NFV Solutions – Preparing for 5G & IOT

1|9|17   |     |   (0) comments


Shekar Ayyar, EVP & Corporate Strategy/General Manager of Telco for VMware, discusses VMware's Telco NFV solutions role and foundation for the Imminent Arrival of 5G & IOT.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
A Women in Comms Glossary
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 1/18/2017
Is Cable One Beefing Up for Slaughter?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 1/20/2017
Google Security Lessons for IT
Curtis Franklin, Security Editor, 1/18/2017
TV's Paradox: No HDR Without 4K
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/17/2017
Nokia CTO: 2017 Is the Year 5G Gets in the Field
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.