(Pocket-lint) - A couple of years ago, Netflix told Pocket-lint that offline viewing was very unlikely to ever happen. Licensing of shows and movies was one reason given.

Since then, its major rival Amazon Instant Video added offline viewing for some of its content, for Amazon Prime members to download to a mobile device and watch on the go.

Other services, such as DisneyLife and Sky Go/Sky Q in the UK and Comcast in the States offer similar incentives.

That its rivals offer the option seems to have changed Netflix's mind.

The chief operating officer of mobile video software company Penthera, Dan Taitz, told communications website LightReading that Netflix is working a feature to allow subscribers to download certain shows.

"We know from our sources within the industry that Netflix is going to launch this product," he said. "My expectation is that by the end of the year Netflix will be launching download-to-go as an option for their customers."

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Netflix's response was noncommittal: "While our focus remains on delivering a great streaming experience, we are always exploring ways to make the service better. We don’t have anything to add at this time," said a company spokeswoman.

That's a far cry from the company's previous quoted stance: "[Offline viewing is] very unlikely," said Joris Evers in 2014, when he was Netflix's director of global communications.

Writing by Rik Henderson.