If you have the internet connection for it and a few USD to spare then Netflix is the premium entertainment service you want to be using. I mean no offence to the others but they are just no match when it comes to the variety of international content available.
Zimbos pay less than Americans on the face of it
Netflix packages for Zimbabweans start at $7.99 for the Basic package which only allows you to stream in SD quality using one screen at a time and gives you access to the entire Netflix library. Users looking for more perks will have to part with $9.99 for standard (HD streaming on up to 2 screens) and $11.99 for premium ( UHD streaming on up to 4 screens).
Meanwhile in 2017 Netflix ostensibly hiked prices for US customers. They pay the same as us for the Basic package which goes for $7.99 but all the other packages cost more. Standard goes for $10.99 and premium $13.99. That’s a $1 and $2 difference respectively. Typically Netflix matches the numbers but not cost value for other countries e.g. £7.99 for Basic in the UK and €7.99 in the EU region.On the face of it Zimbabwean packages look cheaper but you are missing an important point.
We actually pay more Netflix
According to the guys at Comparitech, and I am inclined to agree with them, if you think Netflix is cheaper in Zimbabwe than in the US, UK and EU countries, you are missing an important factor. The amount of content available in each country.
You see Netflix geo-fences it content according to region and countries. US customers have access to the largest number of titles while countries like Zimbabwe cannot even access some of the most popular shows. Strangely enough that includes Netflix’s own original shows such as House of Cards and Sense8. Some of these rights are held by DSTV and by extension Showmax.
Comparitech’s method is to determine roughly how much you are paying versus the amount of TV Shows ( Series) and Movies you can access from your location. This makes sense too. The result is you get the theoretical cost per movie/TV Show.
Doing the Math
There is no publicly available official Netflix list of what you can watch from given regions and locations. However, sites such as Unogs and Finder.com do a good job of informing users what they can watch from given locations. The guys at Comparitech used these lists to estimate the number of TV shows available in each place.
This number was then used to divide the cost of accessing Netflix from the given location giving us a estimate of cost per movie/show. According to the data:
- Zimbabweans can access 1 157 TV shows and
- 2 623 movies giving a total library size of 3 780
- At the basic cost of $7.99 that gives
- A cost per item of $0.00211 per movie/TV Show/item
That is less than a cent per each item you have access to. By comparison American:
- Have access to 1 716 shows and 4 123 movies giving a total of 5 839 library items
- Giving $0.00137 as the cost per item on the Basic package
- Even if you use the Standard package of $10.99 US customers pay 0.00188 which is way less than we pay for our basic package!
So in terms of value US customers actually pay way less for the Standard package than we pay for our own basic package.
Library sizes are always changing each day and every week but generally the numbers hold constant. Also exchange rates change all the time. As of now for example the cost of the basic package for South Africans is $7.10 when I wrote this paragraph it was $7.10 which kind of makes comparison difficult. But just know this, Zimbabweans are paying more.
How to mitigate this?
If you do it right you can get Netflix in UHD for only $3 per month. All you need to do is find 3 friends who are willing to share the cost. To prevent problems (like whose card to use and transaction costs each month) just team up to buy a Netflix Gift Card Online. Cards start at $25(this one gets you two months). Then sign up for the Premium package.
The Premium package allows you to stream on up to 4 screens. Netflix account sharing is something people in the US do all the time. Just make sure each user creates their own profile so as to have separate watch history. Using the same profile degrades the watch experience. Doing this will reduce your Netflix Costs to just $3/month and the great part is you have access to UHD and HDR content.