Netflix is on the rise while we’re locked up on quarantine
This streaming service is by far the most popular and influential media company in the world. In fact, around 37% of the world’s internet users use Netflix. In the final quarter of 2019, the service had over 167 million paying streaming subscribers worldwide as well as over 4.6 million free trial customers. They can enjoy original content uninterrupted by commercials on Smart TVs, Playstations, Xboxes, Chromecast, Apple TV, Blu-ray players, PCs, smartphones, laptops, or tablets in both online and offline modes.
Netflix members with a streaming-only plan can watch TV shows and movies instantly in over 190 countries. The content available to every region varies. Netflix is not yet available in China, though the company continues to explore options for providing the service. It also is not available in the Crimea, North Korea, or Syria due to U.S. government restrictions on American companies. However, many users have found a way to unblock geo-restricted access with VPN to be able to enjoy their favorite shows during holidays or business trips in practically any corner of the world.
Netflix story at a glance
The company’s initial business included DVD sales and rental by mail. Later on, Netflix started to stream TV shows, movies, documentaries, and anime to its subscribers. Since 2012 it has been offering a variety of “Netflix Original” content acquiring the role of an active producer. Dozens of award-winning shows including Stranger Things, Orange Is the New Black, The Crown, Master of None, House of Cards, etc. have made millions of people addicted to binge-watching.
Today, the service is famous for using prominent machine learning and AI technologies to personalize users’ experiences. Thus, Netflix uses the watching history of other users with similar tastes to recommend what you may be most interested in watching next so that you stay engaged. Their recommendations seem to be pretty accurate. The company also leverages tech to improve its video quality. Namely, Netflix uses past viewing data to predict bandwidth usage and help decide when to cache regional servers for faster load times during peak (expected) demand. Therefore, its streaming quality is usually excellent across all devices and apps.
Benefits of Netflix
- The ability to create profiles for up to 5 members in your household, allowing them to have their own personalized Netflix experience.
- Setting maturity rating limits on a profile. Your children’s profiles may be controlled via PIN protection that won’t allow them to view certain content without parental consent.
- Enabling subtitles, captions, or alternate audio language.
- Quick sign-up process with Facebook.
Netflix provides access to its vast online library on a monthly subscription basis. The monthly fees differ from region to region, however, the pricing policy is quite affordable. Some examples of subscription package costs are below.
- The US. Here the price for Netflix’s Standard plan (with two HD streams) is $12.99. The Premium plan, which provides up to four Ultra HD streams costs $15.99 per month and the Basic plan (one non-HD stream) is worth $8.99 per month. If you live in the US, you can also rent DVDs and Blu-rays by mail at dvd.netflix.com. Prices for this service start at $7.99 per month and go up to $14.99 per month.
- The UK. British citizens can watch shows on Basic conditions for £5.99. The standard plan costs £8.99, and the Premium package is £11.99 per month.
- Europe. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein were the first countries where new higher prices applied. The basic plan here was increased to €7.99, Standard streaming services cost €11.99, and the Premium offer requires you to pay €15.99 every month.
- When comparing the cost per month of Netflix around the world, the cheapest place to watch Netflix is Colombia – across all three plans. Here costs per month are $4.90 (£4.04), $7.21 (£5.95), or $9.53 (£7.87) for basic, standard, or premium plans, respectively.
- The average cost per month currently is $8.34 (£6.87) for basic plans, $11.14 (£9.18) for standard, and $14.15 (£11.67) for premium.
- The first 30 days of use are considered a free trial period.
How to pay for Netflix
Being a prepaid subscription service, Netflix automatically charges its customers every month on the date they signed up. To change your billing date, you’ll need to cancel your account and restart it on the date you’d like to be billed on. When you register, you should enter your payment details for further utilization.
Payment methods accepted are quite scarce and limited to:
- Credit and debit cards – international Visa, MasterCard, and American Express enabled for recurring e-commerce transactions;
- Prepaid cards – issued by Visa, MasterCard, or American Express can be used for billing purposes too as long as the bank that issued the card approves the authorization request;
- PayPal and iTunes are still used by existing members, however, new members can’t choose these payment methods anymore;
- Gift cards issued by Netflix International B.V. are sold at many retail locations in selected countries.