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Netflix subscriptions in Finland among least cost-effective in the world

Netflix viewers in India, the Philippines, Colombia and Canada get the best value for money.

Netflix-logo heijastuu läppärin näytöltä naisen aurinkolaseihin.
File photo. Image: Sedat Suna / EPA

The value-for-money that Netflix subscribers in Finland get is among the lowest in the world, according to a recent study of 77 countries carried out by comparitech.com, a UK-based website that, among other things, aims to educate consumers about tech services.

Netflix is a US-based online company offering movies, TV series, documentaries and children's shows for a monthly subscription fee. Subscribers are able to stream content to TV sets, desktops, laptops and mobile devices, but depending on where that content is consumed, there are major discrepancies in the amount and variety of programmes offered.

The comparison not only showed that there are significant differences in the amount of content available, but also different pricing schemes, depending on the country in which subscribers live.

Netflix offers different three different tiers of service. Its basic subscription allows a single viewing session to take place at a time, while the firm’s standard plan permits two concurrent sessions. The company’s premium plan allows four simultaneous viewers - as well as access to high definition (HD) and ultra high definition (UHD) content when available. Comparitech’s study took the service tiers into consideration in its evaluation, according to the company.

Story continues after info tables

Ten countries where Netflix Premium package cost-effectiveness is lowest:

Country

Library size

Cost per month ($)

Theoretical price per show each month ($)

Qatar

2658

14.99

0.00141

Denmark

3525

19.33

0.00137

Saudi-Arabia

2745

14.93

0.00136

Finland

3349

17.90

0.00134

United Arab Emirates

2906

15.25

0.00131

Iran

2301

11.99

0.00130

Spain

3522

17.90

0.00127

Italy

3526

17.90

0.00127

Portugal

3142

15.65

0.00125

Switzerland

4593

22.40

0.00122


Ten countries where Netflix Premium package cost-effectiveness is highest:

Country

Library size

Cost per month ($)

Theoretical price per show each month ($)

India

5591

11.29

0.00050

Philippines

4913

10.57

0.00054

Colombia

4282

9.53

0.00056

Canada

5730

12.78

0.00056

South Africa

4987

11.21

0.00056

Bangladesh

5280

11.99

0.00057

Australia

5349

12.22

0.00057

Nepal

5066

11.99

0.00059

Malaysia

4898

12.17

0.00062

Zimbabwe

4788

11.99

0.00063


Netflix customers in the US were found to have the broadest variety of titles from which to choose, but they are not getting the best deal compared to other countries. Comparitech said there are big disparities in cost-per-title, adding that the combination of low prices and number of titles gives Netflix customers in Colombia and India the best value for money.

Meanwhile the country with the lowest number of shows and movies to choose from on Netflix (2,301) was Iran.

Lots of content available in Finland

Tommi Rissanen, a consultant from tech business consulting firm Digital Media Finland, said that content disparities are due to copyright deals, which are negotiated separately in each country.

He said that the amount of content that Netflix offers in Finland is moving in a positive direction, noting that when the streaming service opened for business in the country, there were far fewer shows available.

According to Netflix, the firm has about 150 million subscribers worldwide. Meanwhile, citing estimates from market data portal Statista, business publication Kauppalehti reported last year that there would be about 850,000 Netflix subscribers in Finland by 2020.

"The quantity of available programming content in Finland is exceptionally good and, apart from Netflix, the Nordic countries have had HBO Nordic for a long time, something that’s not available in many other countries," Rissanen said.

He noted that while it would be great to have all the possible shows and movies available in Finland, it’s still a small country that only trails behind other Nordic countries by a narrow margin.

The quantity of content available on Netflix Finland is slightly higher than in Norway, but a bit less than in Sweden and Denmark. However, far ahead of the others, Iceland has more than 1,000 extra titles than its Nordic counterparts.

Relatively good deal

Comparitech found that Europeans pay a significant amount for Netflix, despite the fact that libraries on the continent are generally relatively small compared to the rest of the world. The study found that the dearest subscription rates are being paid in Europe.

In June, the country’s biggest daily Helsingin Sanomat reported that Netflix was planning a price hike in standard and premium subscriptions in Finland. The standard package was raised by one euro to 12 euros, while premium subscriptions increased by two euros to 16 euros per month. The monthly fee of Netflix’s basic plan was kept at eight euros.

Internationally, Netflix pricing schemes vary greatly. Standard package subscribers in Colombia pay the least in the world - around 6.55 euros per month. But that could be due to lower licensing fees in the South American country, according to Rissanen.

Additionally, if the cost of living and relative average local incomes around the world are taken into consideration, Rissanen said amounts Finnish residents pay for Netflix are very competitive.

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