Netflix in South Africa vs. the World: Libraries and Prices Compared

Although South Africa does not have the largest Netflix library in the world, it does have one of the lowest price rates per title in 20 countries.

Netflix’s catalogs of movies and TV shows vary from country to country due to global content licensing restrictions.

While you may purchase the rights to broadcast a particular movie or TV show in the United Kingdom (UK), exclusive rights to that same title may be held by another distributor in South Africa, such as BritBox or DStv.

This has armed virtual private network (VPN) providers with a major draw card, as they allow users to access geo-blocked content by making it appear as if they are accessing the internet from another country.

If the user changes their VPN settings to use a UK server, they can access the Netflix library in that country.

While there are several affordable VPNs out there that are easy to use, many people may not feel that they are worth the cost or effort.

We looked at how South Africa’s Netflix library compares to other countries to determine the value customers get without using a VPN.

Editorial credit: Daniel Avram / Shutterstock.com

using numbers from JustWatch.comWe initially focused on Netflix library sizes in 20 countries, many of which are popular tourist spots or top expat destinations.

Looking at the raw numbers, subscribers in the UK get the widest range of content to watch: 7,098 titles consisting of 4,803 movies and 2,286 TV shows.

Netflix subscribers in the Netherlands are not far behind, with 7,023 titles, including 5,154 movies and 1,869 shows.

Germany had the third largest library, with 6,692 titles including 4,627 movies and 2,065 series.

South Africa was a little further down the list, ranking 12th with 5,802 titles available. That consisted of 3,595 movies and 2,207 TV shows.

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Although somewhat smaller than the larger libraries, it is substantially better than other sub-Saharan African countries we considered.

Libraries in Nigeria and Kenya only offered 1,784 and 1,742 titles, respectively. But even their measly teams dwarfed those of Zambia, which had fewer than 1,000 titles.

The table below ranks Netflix libraries in 20 countries across the world’s six populated continents.

Library Sizes Compared
Classification Country Number of titles Films TV shows
1 United Kingdom 7,098 4,803 2,286
two Netherlands 7,023 5,154 1,869
3 Germany 6,692 4,627 2,065
4 Thailand 6,329 4,101 2,228
5 Canada 6,323 4,206 2,117
6 Australia 6,314 4,109 2,205
7 France 6,308 4,236 2,072
8 New Zealand 6,260 4,058 2,202
9 India 5,996 3,698 2,298
10 USA 5,897 3,755 2,142
eleven Japan 5,861 3,658 2,204
12 South Africa 5,802 3,595 2,207
13 Brazil 5,508 3,502 1,988
14 United Arab Emirates 5,495 3,471 2,024
fifteen Argentina 5,429 3,408 2,021
sixteen Egypt 5,396 3,387 2,009
17 Israel 4,964 3,252 1,712
18 Nigeria 1,785 570 1,215
19 Kenya 1,742 553 1,189
twenty Zambia 946 358 588

However, Netflix prices also differ between regions, which means that certain countries could get a better rate of price per title.

This makes sense, as consumer spending power and prices for video entertainment are not the same around the world.

We calculated a price per title figure for each of the 20 countries based on the price of the most popular Netflix plan: Standard.

Although India only ranks 9th in terms of pure title numbers, its standard plan costs just 499 Indian rupees, roughly R107.78 at the time of writing.

That’s less than half the £10.99 (R217.68) UK subscribers pay for the same package.

When you take the price and divide it by the 5,996 titles available in India, it comes out to be the cheapest price per title in all 20 countries: 1.80 South African cents.

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That beats Argentina, with its monthly fee of 799 Argentine reais (R98.90) and a library of 5,429 titles that equates to a price per title of 1.82 cents.

South American neighbor Brazil offered the third cheapest price per share, at 2.40 cents.

South Africa wasn’t much more expensive than that, coming in sixth cheapest with a price per title of 2.74 cents, only slightly more expensive than fifth-place Egypt.

Interestingly, Netflix’s library price per title rate in the United States (US) was relatively high, around 4.53 cents per title, ranking it 16th.

The streaming giant has stiff competition in its home market, with many established broadcasters and a growing expansion of streaming to contend with.

The table and graph below rank countries’ standard Netflix plans based on the price charged per title, from cheapest to most expensive.

Price comparison per title
Classification Country Price price per title
1 India INR499 / R107.78 1.80 cents
two Argentina ARS799 / R98.90 1.82 cents
3 Brazil 39.90 BR / R132.63 2.40 cents
4 Thailand THB349 / R164.41 2.60 cents
5 Egypt £165 / $147.81 2.74 cents
6 South Africa ZAR159.00 2.74 cents
7 Netherlands €11.99 / R204.96 2.91 cents
8 United Kingdom £10.99 / R217.68 3.07 cents
9 New Zealand NZ$18.49 / R194.07 3.10 cents
10 Japan 1,490 yen / 182.58 rand 3.12 cents
eleven Australia $16.99 / R198.65 3.15 cents
12 Germany €12.99 / R221.99 3.32 cents
13 United Arab Emirates AED39 / $183.02 3.33 cents
14 Canada CAD16.49/R216.04 3.42 cents
fifteen France €13.49 / R230.53 3.65 cents
sixteen USA US$15.49 / R$267.01 4.53 cents
17 Israel ILS54.90/R277.75 5.60 cents
18 Nigeria NGN 3,600 / Rs 144.74 8.11 cents
19 Kenya KES 1,100 / Rs 157.69 9.05 cents
twenty Zambia US$11.59 / R$199.70 21.10 cents


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