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Netflix to debut a 'smart download' feature for easier binge-watching

Contributed by
Jul 10, 2018

Binge-watching your favorite shows on Netflix is about to become a little bit more convenient. 

Building off the option to download content for offline viewing in 2016, Netflix is adding a new feature called Smart Downloads. Announced today via an official blog post from Netflix Director of Innovation Cameron Johnson, the feature will automatically delete downloaded TV episodes once they've been watched, while downloading the next available episode when your device is connected to wifi. 

"You watch, we do the work," read Johnson's post, which emphasized the company's drive to personalize each subscriber's own unique viewing habits. "[W]hen it comes to Netflix, the faster you can get to the next episode you want to watch, the better," Johnson wrote.

For now, Smart Downloads is only available on Android phones and tablets. It also only works with TV series — so it doesn't apply to movies, TV specials, or any other content.

Considering that Netflix is currently the most popular way to watch TV, beating out both broadcast and basic cable by a significant margin, this new feature is a good way to keep users engaged with their binge-watch du jour. Also, with Netflix poised to spend about $13 billion on their streaming library in 2018 alone, it would make sense that keeping their subscribers engaged with minimal hassle is a top priority. 

The feature is also optional, so you'll have to adjust your Netflix account settings if you want to try it out for yourself. For those Android users who are interested can learn more about the new Smart Download feature here