A few months ago, Netflix Downloads were introduced, which allow the users to download and save videos on their devices. The company had brought forward numerous changes to the way content is traditionally viewed on smartphones. Netflix realizes that users are not always on a high speed connection and that they might require alternate means of consumption of content. Netflix has today blogged a detailed report of how the feature works on Android devices on their tech blog. Let us take a detailed look about this decision and why Netflix decided to do so:

Netflix Downloads on Android

  • Why Did Netflix Decide To Provide This Feature

Netflix has provided various reasons to why they decided to take this step and allow the users to download videos on to their smartphones. The company states the following three reasons as the biggest factors towards this decision:

  1. For better streaming of videos on connections that might get interrupted frequently.
  2. To ensure the least possible data consumption.
  3. To ensure that the users will be able to watch videos on areas with no internet connection or while travelling.

These are the three primary reasons why Netflix downloads on android devices were introduced. Let us now take a look at Netflix’s reasoning on what did they keep in mind while building this app:

  • Things Netflix Kept in Mind While Introducing Netflix Downloads on Android:

Netflix defined components of data that need to be downloaded together to provide the users with a experience of a complete video. These things that need to be downloaded together are –

  1. Content Manifest (URLs for audio/video files).
  2. Media files such as primary video tracks, 2 audio tracks and 2 subtitle tracks (based on users’ language preferences), trick play data.
  3. DRM Licenses
  4. Metadata for artwork.

Netflix then detailed the reason behind the creation of the Netflix Download Manager

  • Netflix’s reasoning behind the Netflix Download Manager

Netflix states that the Netflix Download Manager was needed for the following reasons, all of which indicate towards them providing the users with a better UX and UI experience.

  1. Download Notifications: Netflix says that the Netflix Download Manager displays downloads in progress, as well as various other notifications associated with video downloads.
  2. The ability to pause and resume downloads: Users can easily pause and resume Netflix downloads on Android with this download manager.
  3. Analytics: The Netflix downloads manager provides Netflix a deep insight into understanding user behavior, as well as reasons why downloads are halted.

Netflix has also provided various other reasonings such as CDN Switching as well as network handling.

  • Netflix Downloads on Android Improves Video Qualities

One of the many things that Netflix has focused when it comes to the Netflix downloads on Android is the quality of the videos. The company has stated on their blog that in order to provide the users with high quality downloaded videos on smartphones, they had to pay additional costs. However, they have said this cost has been ‘worthwhile’ for them.

Netflix has also commented on various other things such as how the content is played back on the downloaded devices. The Netflix tech blog also talks about widevine support, as well as storing and updating metadata. This is indeed a good look at how the download mechanism works, and we hope we would be seeing more such posts as well as updates from Netflix.