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.