"Netflix members worldwide can now download in addition to stream great series and films at no extra cost," the streaming giant announced Wednesday morning. The highly anticipated feature is launching after earlier reports speculated Netflix (NFLX 5.54%) would bring it to market by the end of the year.
Netflix said the feature is a response to customer feedback:
While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we've often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where Internet is expensive or limited.
A download option, which only works for phones and tablets with Android or iOS, is initially available on some movies and TV series, but more are on the way, Netflix's director of product innovation Eddy Wu said in the Wednesday blog post.
Does it matter?
This move is important for several reasons. First, by making some content available for download, Netflix is playing catch-up to other streaming video services -- like Amazon.com's Prime Video -- already offering this service for some of their content.
But the move also helps better position Netflix as a feasible entertainment solution in parts of the world where internet connections are spotty. Downloadable content in developing countries could add considerable value to Netflix's service -- a key achievement as the streaming giant continues to localize its offerings across the globe.