Netflix is the most popular streaming service worldwide, with content reaching people living in more than 188 countries. With that said, not everyone gets the same choices of movies and TV shows on Netflix. Depending on the country or region you live in, you might get a more limited selection than users in other countries.
This is problematic for people who like to travel a lot. You leave for vacation with your streaming device and a Netflix subscription, thinking that you could binge-watch some good Netflix shows while you’re away from home and work. But then, you get to your destination only to find that Netflix either does not work in that new location at all or you don’t have access to the shows you could access back at home.
The reasons for this gap in access are well-documented. The studios behind all of your favorite films and TV series spend millions of dollars to produce and distribute those movies and shows to an audience. Depending on where a studio films its project, the cost of production can go up or down. On the other hand, you’ll find independent studios that have the ability to make films on a modest budget of less than $10,000. But you won’t see the same level of special effects in them as you would in, say, a Marvel movie. Avengers: Endgame, for example, took $356 million to make.
Production studios do not want people to pirate their films and TV shows, which cuts into their own profit margins. That’s why they enforce strict copyright laws on their content. This protection allows them to profit from their creations to the maximum.
This is the main reason why the Netflix library differs for each region since each region has different copyright and distribution rights given to content creators and producers. However, the same copyright and distribution issues don’t extend to Netflix Originals.
In terms of how Netflix’s library differs from country to country, the streaming service has the best selection of content available on the U.S. version of the platform. Netflix U.S. offers the best quality and quantity of material to choose from. The most limited Netflix library belongs to either Albania or Morocco. Both only have around 50 TV series and a similar number of movies available for users.
In 2019, U.S. Netflix had nearly 4,000 movies and over 1,800 TV shows available. Pretty much everything that Netflix has to offer, the U.S. library has it. Puerto Rico and American Samoa offer close to 100% of the same movies as the U.S. version of Netflix. However, there are still some TV series missing from these countries’ Netflix libraries.
The one thing you should understand about Netflix libraries is that content availability is not dependent upon whether a country is rich or poor, or if it’s in the west or east. As stated, it all depends on the copyright and distribution rights governed in a given region.
For example, the U.K. is a western country with a strong and stable economy. But compared to the U.S. Netflix library, it only offers around 35% of the titles available. That’s quite a reduction in the number of TV shows and movies you can watch on Netflix for the same price. On the other hand, Iraq, ravaged by war and political instability, still offers a better TV series collection on Netflix than the U.K. The same is the case for Barbados, which provides a far more expansive Netflix library than the likes of the U.K., New Zealand and Australia.
For more information on how Netflix libraries differ based on location, you can go to https://securitygladiators.com/us-netflix-best-vs-rest/ and read more about how all the major countries in the world compare with U.S. Netflix. You can also find out which library offers the best content overall.
Netflix is not the only streaming service that deals with copyright and distribution rights issues. Almost all other streaming services have to manage the same problems. If you can figure out which content is available and where you can navigate copyright restrictions and access the content you want in your region.