How Does Your Netflix Content Library Compare to the Rest of the World?
A clever catalog where all of your favorite TV shows and movies are gathered in one place – how couldn’t you love Netflix?! Netflix is THE place to go when you want to chill-out and catch up on some TV, but what if you wanted to travel and use your Netflix abroad? What most people don’t realize is that the Netflix library isn’t the same in the US as it is in Canada, or any other country in the world for that matter. So just how much does the Netflix library vary from country to country, and how exactly would you go about streaming your favorite shows, if you were to travel?
Founded in 1997, Netflix is an American company specializing in providing and streaming media and, as of recently, specializing in film and television shows. In 2010, the company made their leap towards global domination, starting off with its friendly neighbors in Canada. The following year saw Netflix reach out to the Latin American countries, beginning with Brazil, and then going on to cover the rest of South America. After further and further expansion, Netflix has almost totally taken over the world, providing its services to a total of 190 countries. Each library, however, is unique, and what can be found on one, may not exist on another, making it very difficult to access US Netflix libraries with the same content, across the globe.
Not All Netflix Sites are Created Equal
Since the launch of Netflix, it has faced many legal issues, mainly down to its strict copyright laws. Unfortunately, Netflix can’t offer the same content across all countries and where certain content is available in some, it may not be in another. This is due to the local copyright laws of the region and geographical licensing restrictions. Copyrights give the owner of a movie or show the right to sell it wherever he or she pleases. There are many reasons that Netflix might only buy the American rights to a show or movie. One of the main ones being that a competitor TV station, or online channel, could already own the rights to it. Even if Netflix bought the global rights to a show, they are often divided up to maximize profit.
David Fullager, Netflix’s vice-president, mentioned in a blog post: “We are making progress in licensing content across the world…but we have ways to go before we can offer people the same films and TV series everywhere.” He reiterated that the company’s ultimate goal is to one day allow users to enjoy Netflix without using a proxy.
The following table shows just how much Netflix varies across the globe for the numbers of Movies and TV shows available (information gathered from Finder stats):
From the above table, you can see that there are some stark contrasts between different countries. The United States clearly has the majority of shows and movies available, and even though Canada comes in at number two, it actually has about half the number of the US version!
English speaking countries such as Australia and the UK are lucky to have on average 37% of the US Netflix library. Especially compared to some rather unfortunate countries. When looking at the original table, you’ll notice that many countries in the Middle East and Africa fall far behind, with Morocco and Albania right at the bottom of the list, having as little as 3% of the TV shows on the US Netflix library.
I Created my Account in the US but I am Traveling, Can I Still Watch US Netflix Abroad?
If you plan to go traveling, you’ll notice from the table that each and every country has only a certain percentage of the US Netflix library, making it difficult to watch all of the shows and movies you’d like. If you are a Netflix member, you can use Netflix anywhere in the world, but you won’t be able to watch the same shows wherever you go. The answer to this question is, therefore, a little tricky, because technically the answer is no, however, you can gain access to the full US Netflix library by using a sneaky trick – a VPN.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) will allow users to bypass a country’s geo-restrictions by allowing them to connect via a privately encrypted tunnel. Users will gain an added layer of privacy as their internet activity will be secure and hidden from their ISP (and the government). Once a VPN is downloaded, you can easily ‘geo-spoof’ your location by selecting a server in any location you choose (so long as the VPN provides it). In this case, you would need to select a server within the US to make it appear as though you are browsing from within the country, thus gaining you access to the entire catalog that you are used to seeing.
Be aware that in January 2016, Netflix began cracking down on proxies and VPNs in an attempt to thwart users from gaining access to geo-restricted content. Though the ban on many VPNs has been successful, especially the free ones, there is still a handful of VPNs that are able to unblock the US Netflix library. You’ll just need a Netflix VPN that has very strong encryption and top-notch protocols. So make sure you check which VPN’s work before downloading – happy streaming!