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Is Netflix changing its mind on offline viewing?

Netflix has always been set against the prospect of watching content offline, but has its view finally changed?

The CEO of Netflix has confirmed that the company has not ruled out offline viewing.

Speaking during this week’s Netflix earnings call, Reed Hastings said: “We should keep an open mind on [offline viewing].”

He continued: “We’ve been so focused on click-and-watch and the beauty and simplicity of streaming, but as we expand around the world, where we see an uneven set of networks, it’s something we should keep an open mind about.”

In December 2014, viewers’ hopes for an offline feature were dashed when Netflix revealed that it was “never going to happen”.

NetflixNetflix now serves 81.5 million users globally

To make matters worse, Amazon Prime began allowing users to download TV shows and movies to watch offline late last year.

The rival service was lauded for the move, but Netflix remained frustratingly silent on the matter.

Related: Netflix vs Amazon Video

But Netflix might not be able to keep up its steadfast opposition to offline viewing for long.

Netflix has always been populated by a US majority, but the company’s recent global push saw the brand launch its service in 130 new countries globally. While the US has impressive network infrastructure, the same can’t be said for many less developed areas of the world.

In many underdeveloped nations, streaming content – especially on the move – is impossible, which could force Netflix’s hand when it comes to offline viewing.

Netflix now serves 81.5 million users globally, of which just under 47 million are based in the US.

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Do you think Netflix should add offline viewing? Let us know in the comments.