Is “Digital Offline” Important?

Following Netflix's offline streaming service, 2017 could see the emergence of online and offline digital experiences.

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With the emergence of the digital era, accessibility and creating an online digital presence has been at the forefront of modern business strategies. But with the constant growth of devices and internet usage, 2017 could be driving towards a new age of offline experience.

Following suit offline streaming services such as music giant Spotify, Netflix announced last week that offline downloads for smartphones and tablets will now be available for customers free of charge.

Netflix Director of Product Innovation, Eddy Wu, explained: “While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on aeroplanes and other places where the internet is expensive or limited.”

The Millennials are ‘digital natives’ who are accustomed to having services readily available in real-time, however, online or digital services are no longer fulfilling this requirement. In the case of Netflix, subscribers want to watch series on-the-go without being dependent on internet connections.

Netflix’s offline streaming will rival Amazon Prime Video that was released last year and offered series and films available for download to premium subscribers.

Other streaming services also attempted to compete with Netflix in 2015, with both HBO Now and Showtime providing streaming services to those without a television package. However, Amazon and Netflix are still the front-runners in video streaming.

Boasting over 86 million subscribers, the introduction of this new service will see Netflix surpass its competition. Recent spikes in app downloads have claimed Netflix the number one spot on the ‘Top Grossing’ charts in the United States for the first time.

“Many of your favourite 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”, Wu said.

Wu continues by explaining that the only requirement for receiving this service is downloading the most recent version of the Netflix app. Although Netflix is only releasing limited content available for the offline download, it is expected to expand as time progresses.

“To start downloading today, please update your Netflix app to the most recent version and take us with you to enjoy Netflix everywhere you go.”

The ease of the transformation into the offline world, as well as Netflix’s success in challenging rival companies, raises the question of whether offline will begin to affect other industries in the near future.

Whilst this is currently contained within the music and video streaming industries, its wider implications on other industries are not yet apparent. Perhaps businesses in 2017 will begin to address both online and offline digital experiences.