Binge-watching has become one of the most popular ways of consuming television, to the point that broadcast networks are being left behind and scrambling to find a way to compete with streaming services. Netflix has long been king when it comes to streaming TV and binge-watching, and its appeal only grew once it began offering the option to download content. Now, Netflix has made binge-watching and downloading easier than ever. Binge-watchers rejoice!
Well, binge-watchers rejoice unless they were hoping to take some time away from Netflix. The streaming service's new feature for downloading will undoubtedly enable a lot of folks who prefer to consume their television by watching multiple episodes at a time. Called "Smart Downloads," the feature will allow subscribers to watch an episode, then have that download automatically deleted and replaced by the next episode in the series. All you have to do is watch and Netflix will take care of the rest with Smart Downloads.
The announcement came via Director of Product Innovation Cameron Johnson on Netflix's blog. According to the post, it can be annoying to have to go through apps on devices and "delete files you no longer need" and that the greatest part of Netflix's service is "connecting with the stories you will love in an easier and more fun way." Not everybody will necessarily be over the moon at a new feature that doesn't change anything unless you download to watch Netflix, but I know I'm happy about it, if only because it means that I don't have to use up memory to download a whole season or block of episodes at once.
If Smart Downloads isn't your type of thing when it comes to binge-watching, you don't have to worry that it will be the only option for downloading on Netflix. For details on turning the setting off and more of what the new feature has to offer, check out Netflix's video:
It seems that the Smart Downloads option is currently only available on Android phones and tablets. but the odds are that it will become available for other devices as well, especially if the feature is a hit with users right off the bat. Netflix has come a very long way since it avoided making downloadable content an option!
Adding Smart Downloads isn't the only big change to the streaming service. News broke last week that Netflix is removing online reviews, and it's now possible that Netflix could begin outspending every network combined by 2022. An "Ultra" version may even become available! Throw in how the streaming platform is saving TV pilots, and it's clear that Netflix does not intend to stop blazing the trail when it comes to television.
If you're in the mood for some Netflix, check out our 2018 Netflix premiere guide for your viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future. Our Amazon guide can point you toward some alternate streaming options as well.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).