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Offline access to House of Cards? Netflix now has an 'open mind'

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When Amazon announced it was offering Instant Video subscribers access to offline content, Netflix scoffed at the notion. Now the stance appears to be softening.

In yesterday’s earnings call, CEO Reed Hastings stated the company was keeping an “open mind” about the possibility of making content available for download.

Hastings told investors (via TechInsider): ”We should keep an open mind on all this… as we expand around the world where we see an uneven set of networks, it’s something we should keep an open mind about."

With the raft of original content now available through Netflix, the company wouldn’t have to deal with acquiring the rights to offer content offline.

Beyond that, Netflix might find it difficult to convince rights holders to acquiesce to downloads.

See also: Best movies and documentaries on Netflix

Back in September, Netflix’s Chief Product Offer Neil Hunt said the proposition was not “compelling,” and that it added “considerable complexity.”

He said: “I think it's something that lots of people ask for. We'll see if it's something lots of people will use. Undoubtedly it adds considerable complexity to your life with Amazon Prime – you have to remember that you want to download this thing.

“It's not going to be instant, you have to have the right storage on your device, you have to manage it, and I'm just not sure people are actually that compelled to do that, and that it's worth providing that level of complexity.”

Is offline downloads number one on your Netflix wishlist? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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