Netflix, Inc. like Amazon Instant Video Streaming service has planned not to provide its 65 million subscribers with an option to download TV shows and movies. Earlier in September, the e-commerce company Amazon, jumped ahead of Netflix and offered its customers the option to do so.
The reason of Amazon allowing its customers to do so was that in case they wanted to watch a movie during a flight, or in the car or in a place where they did not have access to the internet, they could pre-download a movie or series and watch it anywhere at any time. This service was made available on android and iOS mobile devices. To justify to its customers, the video streaming media's Chief Product Officer, Neil Hunt explained to its subscribers that he believes that customers do not really want the ability to download but rather to be able to consumer anywhere at any time whether in a car or a plane. The CPO further added that the downloading model is a fairly complex one as in order to download you need to plan ahead, which means that if you have a flight, you will need to take time out to download the movie beforehand. Along with this viewers will need to keep a track of the storage ability in their phones. He thinks that this is quite a challenging procedure.
Mr. Hunt’s statement does suggest that downloading content is a backward and old fashioned technology but for someone who plans ahead to do so it does not seem like a bad idea especially when it is coming from a company who started its services by delivering DVDs to its customers for which they would have to wait for two days. The company needs to keep in mind that there will be areas where customers will not have access to the internet and for such situations downloading does not sound that bad.
Another reason why downloading is not an option for Netflix, Inc. users is because in comparison to Amazon Prime Instant Video, the online shopping website offers a variety of other products that the customers can buy whereas the video streaming company’s sole entertainment lies in its movies and shows. In order to retain its current subscribers and add new ones in the future, the company cannot afford to give its users a reason to leave its ecosystem therefore they need their subscribers to keep their memberships. Allowing the members to download content from the video streaming company gives them the leverage to share their Netflix password with their friends and allow them to download whatever they like without having to subscribe for the service.
The CPO further stated that allowing this service to the members also at times cause them to lose interest in the service or be overwhelmed by too many choices. He added that the company had initially added a number of new features which have not generated desirable outcomes.