Netflix downloads

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

16 July 2018

Netflix downloads grow more robust

It’s a stunner to me that only a few streaming services do it, but why don’t more of them offer downloads of their content like Netflix? OK, Amazon Prime downloads are similar to Netflix downloads. But just about everyone else, including many of the content providers themselves, don’t. What are they afraid of?

Netflix downloadsNow comes word that Netflix will automatically download the next episode of a show you’re watching, a service called Smart Downloads. Up to this point, any downloads were manual. Now they are automatic, with the service deleting your previously watched downloads to limit clutter.

That’s not all. Hulu is realizing downloads are not only a way to keep customers in its programming environment, but also that it can be profitable. The Hulu service will include an extended ad at the beginning of its downloads.

“The service is increasing its programming budget to $13 billion, far greater than anyone else. Its goal is to keep you within its programming environment like a caged animal. Like I wrote before, Netflix’s mantra is that ‘you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.'”

Why new Netflix downloads are another step in the service’s domination

Why is this such a big deal? Well, for one, the streaming wars will only get more competitive as more players enter the market, including new upcoming services from giants Disney and Apple. While most of us use several different platforms, each service still aims to create preference.

Netflix downloads demonstrate one tactic. The service is increasing its programming budget to $13 billion, far greater than anyone else. Its goal is to keep you within its programming environment like a caged animal. Like I wrote before, Netflix’s mantra is that “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

It may seem sneaky, automatically downloading the next episode, but it’s a smart tactic. For business travelers like me (or even commuters on trains and such), Netflix downloads accomplish what they set out to do. Keeping you watching Netflix. And no one else.

Other outlets are sure to follow. Their fear, I imagine, is that downloads would lead to pirating. But that’s bullshit. I have another theory. They just haven’t thought of it.

See more posts in the following related categories: entertainment branding

1 Comment

  1. Hal Hunnicutt

    Since the demise of Napster, piracy seems likely have increasingly become a far less appealing alternative than simply paying the outlet’s subscription fee. My guess is that downloading for offline viewing is an issue of ironing out the licensing with each of the various owners of content they distribute. The artificial “expiration date” of Netflix downloads is surely due to licensing restrictions. Offline viewing is a key component of the best user experience, particularly for travelers.

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