Netflix just announced today that they are planning to take new steps in detecting & blocking services that are being used to access locked regions, such as VPNs, proxies and SmartDNS unblockers.
Frankly, we've seen this coming, following their recent global expansion. The question is how 'strict' their locking technology would be.
Our thoughts on this decision and region-locking, in general:
- Expats/travelers: We know for a fact that a lot of our customers are either expats or people travelling, who want to get access to the service they are paying for. Locking them from accessing content they should have access to is unfair.
- Local vs. other regions content offering: we don't believe that it is fair for users in most countries to pay the same price, or actually more (e.g. $7.99 vs. €7.99) and have access to a fraction of the content otherwise available in a different region, such as US. Moreover, users aren't provided with a clear comparison in terms of content availability before signing-up, and we can safely assume that most people would simply sign-up expecting to have access to the same content as those in other regions. This may arguably fall under false-advertising.
- Archaic entertainment distribution models: Content owners and studios should get their heads out of the sand and re-think their business models. It is 2016, folks. People from all over the world would gladly pay for your content, if they are allowed to do so in the first place. Yet, they aren't. Which we believe to be an unfair and bad practice in modern times.
Evolving Proxy Detection as a Global Service (Netflix Blog)
Netflix says it will do more to stop customers from bypassing country restrictions (The Verge)
Netflix Vows to Shut Down Proxy Users Who Bypass Country Restrictions (variety.com)