Video streaming pioneer Netflix Inc has added an option that allows subscribers to download shows at no additional cost on their mobile device to watch without an internet connection.
Netflix signaled in recent months it would add an offline viewing option to better compete as the streaming video market becomes more and more crowded. Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more Inc’s rival streaming video service, Prime Video, has had this option for about a year.
While the new option announced on Wednesday is available for all of Netflix’s subscribers, it could have greater appeal in international markets such as Africa and Asia, where internet service is less ubiquitous than it is in the United States.
Growth among U.S. subscribers has slowed in 2016. Netflix added just 370,000 subscribers during the third quarter and only 4.3 million since the third quarter of last year, suggesting they are reaching a saturation point.
In that same time frame, Netflix has added 13.2 million international subscribers, including 3.2 million in the third quarter. Much of that has to do with Netflix’s expansion by more than 130 countries earlier this year to over 190 nations currently. China is a notable holdout.