So Netflix has finally been launched in this side of the world. For many, this means an end to a long wait to get legitimate access to a lot of their favourite shows and movies online. With the arrival of Netflix in countries like Malaysia and Singapore, we can assume that we’ll be able to catch some of our favourite shows almost at the same time as they’re released State-side right? Or can we?
Before you jump for joy at the news, here’s a few things you’ll want to know about Netflix.
You won’t be getting the full “US Netflix” experience
As we mentioned above, many of you might be thinking that with Netflix launched here, you’ll be getting the same experience AND catalogue as Netflix in the US right? WRONG!
This only means that the NetFlix service is now available here not its entire catalogue. You have to remember that Netflix’s content catalogue in the US is governed by whatever distribution rights they’ve managed to wrangle for the US, not internationally. Rights for other countries will still have to be negotiated with the proper right holders and in some cases, other media outlets might already have negotiated exclusivity for those shows.
It’s a little easier for Netflix owned titles like Orange is the new Black, Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Since Netflix owns the shows, they’re free to distribute it wherever they like. However for other shows which whose rights are held by other distribution companies like say The Flash which is under Warner Bros., Netflix would still have to negotiate the rights to broadcast it under its service in different countries.
Broadcasting rights aren’t the only thing that Netflix has to contend with. There are also censorship guidelines each different country has. In order to operate their service without much interference from the government, they will have to abide by each countries media broadcasting rules. Granted, when it comes to internet media broadcasting, it is a little more relaxed in some countries, but still Netflix will try as much as possible to abide by the rulings, lest they get blocked. As such you might not be getting the full-blown, uncensored, shows you might expect like in the US.
The shows are not permanent
No seriously, don’t think that the favourite TV series or movie of yours is going to be on Netflix forever. It isn’t. You might one day find that certain seasons from your favourite TV show is now missing or that particular old movie you’ve been meaning to watch is also no longer on Netflix. It happens. Netflix doesn’t always keep everything on forever.
This is partly due to broadcasting rights. You have to take into account that broadcasting rights are NOT permanent and have to be renewed constantly. This is usually done on a yearly basis and sometimes, some movies or TV series just don’t get renewed because the rights cost is being renegotiated or there isn’t a need for renewal due to lack of popularity of the show or movie.
That isn’t to say that they will be gone permanently either. Sometimes, some movies of shows will be brought back though we never know when.
Your Netflix account will work in different countries
Just as long as Netflix is available in that particular country. This is great since Netflix is now basically available in more than 130 countries, so that’s not really going to be an issue, unless you’re headed to China.
Yep the great firewall of China has managed to block the roll-out of Netflix into the country but we’re pretty sure they’re doing something about it and we will eventually see the service over there.
That being said when you fly over to another country, your Netflix catalogue will reflect that of the country you’re in. So if you registered over in Malaysia and paid in Malaysian ringgit, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the Malaysian catalogue when you fly over to say the US. Instead, you’ll get access to the US based catalogue. That works the other way too so if you have a US subscription but are in Malaysia, you’ll only get access to the Malaysian based catalogue.
Netflix will detect the region you’re at and deliver the appropriate catalogue. Which means that there are ways that you’ll be able to get the US catalogue, that is through a VPN that’ll spoof your IP to that of US one.
So there you have it. 3 things you should know about Netflix now that it’s been launched worldwide. Would you still want to get a Netflix subscription now?