Stan standing still on offline viewing... For now

No plans to follow Amazon's Stan-dard

Stan

Australia has an exceptionally strong 4G mobile network compared to the rest of the world, but if you ever try to stream video while on a train during peak hour, you're in a for a world of disappointment.

That's why we got kind of excited when Amazon announced it would be offering offline viewing for certain shows. While Netflix is adamant it will never offer offline viewing, it made sense that one of the local rivals – Stan or Presto – might look to implement a similar feature in their mobile apps.

At a preview of Stan's upcoming original comedy series No Activity, we got a chance to chat to Stan CEO Mike Sneesby, who told techradar that while he would never rule out offline viewing, at the moment he's not convinced the benefits outweigh the challenges.

"We're looking closely at how that's taken up by consumers internationally," Sneesby admitted when asked about offline options in the Stan app.

"I think if you surveyed a bunch of people and said, 'would you be interested in offline viewing', 99 per cent of people will say 'yes, if it's just another option then of course, I'll take that,'" he continued.

Viva la resiSTANce

The challenge then isn't so much on the consumer side, but in the complexity it adds to the service, both technically and in terms of user experience.

"On Stan we've got about 8,000 hours of viewing – You can't download that onto your phone, so there'll be a limited number of shows or programs that you can ever have offline at once based on how much memory is available on your device," Sneesby explained.

"That's challenge number one. Challenge number two is not all shows will have the rights available for offline.

"So you will get into this situation where you've kind of got this confusing mismatch of 'why is this show available? Why is that not available? I can only download one show but I want everything!'" he added.

These challenges may seem insignificant for a tech-savvy consumer, but for the team at Stan, they are real questions that need to be addressed before offline viewing becomes a feature worth implementing.

That's not to say we'll never see offline viewing for Stan. For Sneesby, Amazon's approach is a good case study that will help determine the local approach.

"I think the jury's out as to whether the complexities in the experience for consumers actually do end up outweighing the benefits of making it available. But, as I said, I'd never say no and we're certainly keeping a very close eye on it," he said.

  • Check out our run down of the Stan content lineup you won't be watching offline in the near future

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