Washington, Feb 23: Netflix has found a new way to get content in front of its users. The online streaming platform has launched a new feature that will automatically download TV shows or movies based on subscribers' preferences and viewing history.
As per Variety, the new feature called 'Downloads For You' was made available to Netflix's Android app globally starting February 22, after the company tested it out with select users in late 2020.
Netflix has also said it will test out Downloads For You in the iOS version of its app soon.
Netflix three years ago first introduced Smart Downloads, an offline-viewing feature that pulls in the next episode of users' favourite shows. Now it is trying to get users hooked by proactively pushing content to their smartphone or tablet so it is available to watch even if they are disconnected.
Netflix also said that most, not all, content in its catalogue is available to be downloaded and watched offline, with some exceptions based on licensing rights.
"We're excited to introduce Downloads For You. People who choose this new feature will have shows or movies automatically downloaded to their devices, with recommendations based on their tastes," Patrick Flemming, Netflix's director of product innovation, said in a statement.
Flemming added, "We want to make discovering your next new favorite series or film even easier, whether you're connected or not."
Another recently introduced feature is 'shuffle play', rolling out worldwide in the first half of 2021 on connected TVs, which lets subscribers press a button and randomly start streaming a recommended title or one from their watch list.
With the 'Downloads For You' feature, Netflix emphasised that users have control of how much video is downloaded to their device.
To enable the feature, users must go to the Downloads tab on the app and switch on Downloads For You. Then they can choose the maximum amount of content they want downloaded -- 1 gigabyte, 3 GB, or 5GB -- and click Turn On. The more space you allow, the more recommendations Netflix will download for you.