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Netflix in the Philippines: 5 Months In




Since Netflix was officially launched in the Philippines back in January, it has become my primary streaming service. I immediately subscribed to the Premium account, which is Php550 per month, which allows up to 4 screens in HD or Ultra HD video quality.

In the first couple of months, I’ve been watching Netflix movies almost every day. It also introduced me to House of Cards which took me about 2 weeks to watch the first 3 full seasons. There was also a few other series that I immediately followed — Shadow Hunters, Z Nation and Gotham – plus a lot of the old Documentaries.

Lately though, I have not fired up Netflix as much. In fact, I’d be lucky if I there’s one night a week that I would stream Netflix on my TV at home. I even almost forgot about Netflix until I get those Paypal notifications that I’ve auto-paid Php550 for next month’s subscription.

It’s not that I don’t watch any shows. For the most part, I’d fire up the TV and switch to the HDMI port to stream YouTube videos via Google Chromecast. I have less than a dozen channels subscribed to but they’ve pretty much taken up most of my viewing time.

This brings us to the fact that the Netflix library available to Philippine subscribers is very limited. I think it’s still nowhere better than when Netflix became officially available in the country.

In recent months, Netflix has also been very aggressive in blocking proxies and VPN services which allow subscribers to view the entire US library using their limited local account. Before Netflix went global, people were actually getting a US account and use a proxy or VPN to be able to bypass the geographical restrictions of the content library.

So, we’re stuck with a subscription account that doesn’t have anything new and interesting to watch.

Frankly, I’m already contemplating on canceling my Netflix account and maybe just sign up again in the future if new and interesting content becomes available in the library. Otherwise, I’d be paying for a premium service that I rarely use. I’m sure a lot of Netflix users in the Philippines are faced with the same predicament.

Perhaps, Netflix should allow subscribers to suspend their account and just re-activate it next time they log in and watch a TV series or movie. That way, they can still keep the subscriber with the hope that they will re-activate their paid account in the future instead of completely closing their subscription altogether.

In any case, the best way for Netflix to really retain paying subscribers is to make all those new shows accessible to everyone, everywhere – because the way it is right now, it’s no longer worth it.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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9 Responses

  1. oona says:

    cancelled mine after a month. Even iFlix has more shows for just about a hundred pesos/month!

  2. Jay says:

    Use can use smart DNS.

  3. Rael says:

    I know Netflix is just laughable in our country compared to iFlix (They basically have all of CBS from the last 5 years, that’s a win,) but you’re honestly missing the bigger picture here, Netflix is trying to be the next HBO, have their OWN PROGRAMMING and what they have now is working extremely well and to critical acclaim. HOOQ has old movies, iFlix has TV series that are fast becoming irrelevant (their ratings are plummeting and Netflix viewing is shooting up,) and by the long game, Netflix is in a much better position for sustainability than the current system…

  4. CP. says:

    You’re missing the long game here. Network TV in the US and beyond is LOSING viewers to Netflix and their kind, and badly. Even network TV is getting in to Netflix’s very game (CBS All Access for 7.99USD/330PHP). Also, Netflix is doubling down on their OWN CONTENT, more Orange is the New Blacks, more Kimmy Schmidts, more Jessica Jones. Think of Netflix as the new HBO. Maghintay lang, gaganda rin ang mapapanuod mo sa Netflix…

    • Abe Olandres says:

      That was our point actually. They have good content, it’s just that it’s not available in the Philippines. If they allow you to put your account on-hold without paying the monthly subs, then that would be great,

  5. NameME says:

    I’d gladly pay premium once my expenses allow it. But for now I am very happy with what I get from torrenting TV Shows/Movies…you name it. They ‘almost’ got everything I search, and it’s free.

  6. Xander says:

    Tried that for 2 months. Discovered new series like HTGAWM and The 100, but the library is not complete, so I still have to switch to torrent to get the latest episodes. I have no problem with Netflix tho, faster streaming that HOOQ and subs are in sync than iFlix, but they need to provide more content from time to time. After seeing the library is not updating, I chose to cancel my subscription. Data limit is also another issue why I dont usually watch netflix. We have very limited data allocation, like 30GIG per month with Globe, parang 1GIG a day lang magagamit mo. Haha! LOL

  7. metallurgico says:

    Sir Abe, what internet service provider you are using? Must consume a lot of data using netflix..

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