Netflix Offline Viewing Mode Likely, But U.S. Viewers Would Be Shutout

Netflix may soon offer the ability to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing, giving subscribers a way to stay tuned to their favorite content when they're without an Internet connection, such as traveling to remote areas or bring a scary flick to watch at night while camping. It all sounds fun in theory, though in practice, you might not be able to use it.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, said the focus for offline viewing is on developing territories. Subscribers living in the United States, which happens to be the biggest market Netflix serves, may not have access to offline viewing right away, if at all.


"Now as we've launched in more territories … They all have different levels of broadband speeds and Wi-Fi access. So in those countries they have adapted their behaviors to be much more of a downloading culture. So in those emerging territories it starts to become a little more interesting," Sarandos explained to CNBC. "We still think for the developed world our thesis has been true but I think as we get into more and more (of the) undeveloped world and developing countries that we want to find alternatives for people to use Netflix easily."

Netflix added 130 new countries to the fold earlier this year, bringing its footprint to 190 territories overall. The streaming service has also seen subscriber growth to the tune of 3.2 million new international subscribers. Expanding into new countries is a key part of Netflix's growth strategy, and if that means rolling out offline viewing in some areas, then so be it.

At the same time, Netflix is missing out on an opportunity to bring parity with Amazon and its Prime Video service, at least in this regard. Amazon lets users download videos to view offline. It's also a common practice among streaming music services..