Netflix revealed on December 1st that it would commence offering downloads for the first time. However, a number of users have become vocal over the fact that the feature does not cover all shows on the streaming service – with some of the company’s biggest shows exempt from being downloaded.
Netflix says that it is struggling to secure the download rights – which differ from the streaming rights – for several of its most successful programmes. The newly-launched series of Gilmore Girls, currently top of the Netflix app, is one of the most high-profile exceptions. Netflix is also lacking the download rights for shows that it makes in partnership with outside production houses such as Disney, meaning that shows including Daredevil and Luke Cage can’t be, as of yet, downloaded. All BBC programming is also currently exempt from downloading.
A Netflix spokesperson told gaming news website Polygon, “Netflix is working with lots of partners globally to get downloading rights for the bulk of the content on our service. This is an ongoing effort as we know consumers want this capability and we are working to provide it.”
Netflix has also faced criticism for not making clear how long consumers can keep hold of a downloaded title. The length of time a title can be viewed after downloading ranges from between 48 hours and 7 days depending upon the terms of its licence deal with the individual rights holder. However, this information is not made apparent alongside downloaded content thus far.