Here’s how Netflix in SA compares to the rest of the world on price and how much you can watch

Business Insider SA
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  • A UK-based research company has analysed Netflix packages across the world, and found that South Africa has the cheapest option apart from Brazil.
  • But while the local basic rate of R99 a month is cheap by foreign standards, it represents a large chunk of the average household income in South Africa. 
  • Compared to other countries, SA Netflix subscribers have access to a solid collection of more than 5,400 movies and series available to watch.
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Apart from Brazil, South Africans get the best Netflix deal in the world – with a couple of serious caveats.

A new study by the UK-based research company Comparitech analysed how the pricing of Netflix packages – and the number, as well as quality, of series and programmes – compares across the world.

Netflix customers in the UK have access to the biggest number of titles (6,122 movies and TV series), compared to 5,424 in South Africa, and 4,286 in Brazil.

Source: Comparitech

But the cost per title is considerably lower in South Africa and Brazil than elsewhere in the world.

In South Africa, where the basic Netflix plan costs R99 per month, the study pegged the average price per available title at $0.00106. This is 57% below the global average. Only Brazil ($0.00093 per title) is cheaper. The third-cheapest Netflix is in India, at $0.00121 per title.

Source: Comparitech

The two countries where Netflix is the priciest are Switzerland and Denmark, where subscribers pay twice as much per title as do South Africans.

But while the local cost for the basic package of R99 per month may seem laughably cheap in other countries, that doesn’t take into account local incomes, and how expensive it may feel for locals.

The study attempted to take this account by looking at how much the annual cost of Netflix represents in relation to the average person's income. According to the researchers, the basic cost of Netflix comes to 1.14% of the average South African’s income – more than double the relative cost in Brazil (0.52%), and far more than in Australia (0.16%) and Canada (0.22%).

Across all the countries it operates, Netflix would only consume more of the average person’s income in India (3.8%) and the Philippines (2.4%).

In terms of the quality of films and series on offer on Netflix, the films and series available in South Africa only scored an average of 6.73 out of ten on IMDb, the world’s biggest online database of movies and reviews. This is among the weakest scores of national Netflix packages. In countries like India, South Korea, and Thailand, Netflix movies and films manage an average score of above 8 out of ten.

South African Netflix users also suffer the worst internet speeds in the world, apart from the Philippines, the study found. It used Netflix’s own speed index to compare download speeds, and found that its South African users are struggling with 2.83 megabits per second, compared to 4.52Mbps in Switzerland and 4.34Mbps in the US.

These are the worst average ISP speeds (Mbps) experienced by Netflix users across the world:

Source: Comparitech

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