The news: Developers have dug up code from the Netflix app that reveals the streamer will not allow subscribers of its ad-supported tier to download shows and movies for viewing offline, per Bloomberg.
But hold on a second—limiting offline downloads to ad-free subscribers only is something of a standard in streaming. Both Hulu and HBO Max only open up the feature to premium subscribers, so why is this news getting a huge share of media attention?
The value of a Netflix subscription: Ever since Netflix announced a crackdown on password sharing and the launch of an ad-supported tier following its first-ever subscriber loss, there’s been concern about whether changes to its bottom line are diluting the value of its service.
Gaming’s future at Netflix: The company’s ad-supported pivot has interrupted its plans to become a home entertainment giant, and it's unclear how its new gaming service will fit into its ad-supported plans.
The big takeaway: Netflix might be getting unfair negative press about offline viewing policies, but the outcry hints at a larger concern about the value of the streaming service as it changes its long-standing attitudes toward password sharing and ads.