Netflix has been leading the global streaming industry since the past decade. According to a report by DataPro, Netflix has over 150 million paying subscribers. Though it’s available in more than 190 countries, you might not be able to view the same catalog you are used to watching in your country of residence.
Across borders, most content that is restricted by copyright issues remains unavailable for many subscribers. One way around this roadblock is to use a VPN.
You must be wondering how a VPN works? A VPN – Virtual Private Network – provides its subscribers with a fake virtual IP address which tricks the platform into believing you are located elsewhere. Please note that not all VPNs are capable of bypassing Netflix’s restrictions. It’s the ability only harnessed by the premium one or a few free VPN that works with Netflix.
Anyways, coming back to the point, why does Netflix show different content in different regions?
Ever since Netflix expanded outside of its US base, its expansion into different regions around the world resulted in complications in terms of licensing agreements. Though the platform is a global one, the content library that it offers is anything but that. It all comes down to the fact that the number of titles that are available are basically based on your I.P address.
At the moment, Netflix is trying to widen its reach and secure international availability of all content so that these geo-restrictions can finally be overcome. Till now, it seems region-specific content is how Netflix will be playing the field.
Our article today will dig deeper to find out more.
Different catalogs in different regions
Major Hollywood production studios globally invest millions in each content piece they create, such as movies and TV Shows. While traveling, you might be surprised to see a different content library altogether, and the reason for this is stringent copyright regulations around media content per country or region.
Now, why would you need to change your Netflix region? It’s because Netflix content is categorized according to regions.
Since a lot of money is at stake, these studios impose these copyright laws so they can generate enough ROI overall.
Ever since the shift from traditional VHS tapes to digital mediums took place, digital piracy has been a nuisance that studios have had to deal with increasingly. Studios have decided to address the issue by offering certain titles for sale via companies like iTunes, Apple, Amazon.
Netflix has a global presence and the platform has become a medium that helps enforce copyrights according to the region. What this means is that a German movie might not be in demand in a country like India, for example.
This supply and demand dynamic means that studios can ask for more money from Netflix so that they can show a particular streaming option in some countries more than others.
Let’s look at some numbers now. The U.S catalog is far, far, the largest, with 1,157 Tv Shows and 4,593 movie titles available on the platform. Below is a list of some countries where the service available and what all you can view there:
Tv Shows: 405
Movie Titles: 1360
Tv Shows: 542
Movie Titles: 2425
Tv Shows: 445
Tv Shows: 629
Why Does Netflix Not Work When You Travel?
Whenever you travel, you might see a new content library when you sign into your Netflix account. Since Netflix has a pact with different studios, whenever you are in another country Netflix filters what content you can see.
This is done so that they avoid any conflicts with their studio partners. You might still be able to use your app, but the content library would be different. The only exception here would be Netflix Originals. You can view all Netflix Original content no matter where you are located since the title is owned by the platform itself.
However, one way around this is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Generally, Netflix does not prohibit subscribers from using a VPN as stated in their Terms and Conditions.
The company does take some steps to make sure that only their subscribers are able to access content where they are located. During this process, they have been known to block certain VPNs too.
The bottom line is that undoubtedly, Netflix is the world’s largest streaming platform, with a vast content library where everyone can find something for themselves. From animated titles to Tv Shows, documentaries and more, Netflix can be found in more than 200 countries except a few countries like North Korea,China, Crimea etc.
The content varies from country to country depending on the agreement that studios have with Netflix in a specific region.
One way to work around these regional restrictions is to use a VPN. Though some VPNs do get blocked by Netflix, many are still functional and provide you an easy way to watch your favorite content from anywhere in the world.
Let us know in the comments below what you think!