Netflix is bringing offline playback to its streaming video service for the first time starting today. This means you won’t need an active Internet connection to watch movies and TV shows which is ideal for travel or other low-connection situations.
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The new offline feature will be available on both iOS and Android versions of the Netflix app for any streaming plan on the service. A new download button will appear in an upcoming update to the app expected to arrive shortly.
To start, offline playback won’t be available on all titles. Netflix says it plans to add more titles to offline playback in the future however, suggesting it’s a rights issue:
Many of your favorite streaming series and movies are already available for download, with more on the way, so there is plenty of content available for those times when you are offline. For example, Orange is The New Black, Narcos and The Crown are available for download today.
Note that the titles that are available to download appear to be owned by Netflix. [Update: Some third-party titles are available as well.] For comparison, Amazon’s competing video service through Prime (which is preparing to go international soon) allows for greater offline playback for now. Netflix’s announcement comes on the same day that AT&T launches its streaming live TV service called DirecTV Now, although the company has suggested using both DirecTV Now for live content and Netflix for its catalog of on-demand content.
Update now to Netflix 9.0 for iOS to start using the feature.