Netflix has the most subscribers of all the streaming services – but that could be about to change. Picture: Supplied
Netflix has the most subscribers of all the streaming services – but that could be about to change. Picture: Supplied

What Aussie Netflix users miss out on

A new analysis of the different flavours of Netflix that exist across the globe has revealed which countries get the best service, and which ones are being ripped off.

Much like McDonald's, Netflix operates in most countries around the world, but the experience you get is slightly different in different places.

This is due to local tastes, as well as the availability of content, which copyright owners are becoming increasingly protective of in a bid to get their own slice of the streaming-video-on-demand (SVOD) pie.

More than 150 million people around the world subscribe to Netflix, though the actual audience is much higher due to people sharing accounts.

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Netflix has the most subscribers but many viewers subscribe to multiple services. Picture: Supplied
Netflix has the most subscribers but many viewers subscribe to multiple services. Picture: Supplied

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A recent analysis by virtual private network (VPN) operator SurfShark sought to determine which countries had the best Netflix libraries, with some surprising results.

Australia ranked fifth in terms of size, with 5439 titles across films and television.

The US was first with 5879 and Canada second with 5730, followed by the UK (5673) and India (5591).

But in some places it appears to be a case of quantity over quality.

SurfShark also compared the libraries based on their average scores on review-aggregator Metacritic, which combines reviews from a variety of sources to give a weighted average.

The study also looked at scores from viewers on IMDb.

Australia ranked fifth-lowest with an average metacritic score of 62.2 (out of 100).

Our library also ranked worse than any other country's when rated by the amount of Oscar and Emmy Awards won by the television shows in its catalogue.

Only 77 titles on Australian Netflix have won an Oscar or Emmy award.

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Australia's Netflix library ranks lower than any other in terms of how many television awards it's won. Picture: Supplied
Australia's Netflix library ranks lower than any other in terms of how many television awards it's won. Picture: Supplied

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There are only 23 Emmy award winners.

That number drops to just nine when you take away the number of Netflix Original titles that have been given Emmy Awards.

Two of those were given to Australian performers, Ben Mendelsohn for Bloodline and Hannah Gadsby for Nanette.

The United States unsurprisingly has the biggest library, as the country Netflix has operated the longest, but it has a similar quality problem.

Along with Canada, the US had the lowest rated library on IMDb, with an average score of 6.95 (out of 10).

Canada had the lowest Metacritic score with 61.4.

A pre-existing licensing agreement with a streaming rival has kept Friends off of Netflix. Picture: Supplied
A pre-existing licensing agreement with a streaming rival has kept Friends off of Netflix. Picture: Supplied

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The smallest libraries were understandably in smaller countries, with the Bahamas (2234), Panama (2234), Moldova (2145), Azerbaijan (2117), and Georgia (2116 titles) closing out the list.

South Korea's library punches above its weight, boasting the most Oscars and Emmys (144 titles) while only having 4065 titles, the 41st largest library.

Netflix was an early pioneer of SVOD, and now largely enjoys the same sort of synonymous brand recognition as a company like Kleenex does for tissues.

But it's under threat from big players like Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, as well as regional rivals in different countries.

In Australia, SVOD services like the Channel 9-owned Stan and newly launched Foxtel-owned Binge platforms seek to compete with Netflix for our eyeballs, largely relying on licensed content.

Foxtel is owned by News Corp, publisher of this website.

Lost is one of the most exclusive titles on Netflix, only available to stream in Japan and South Korea. Picture: Supplied
Lost is one of the most exclusive titles on Netflix, only available to stream in Japan and South Korea. Picture: Supplied

Netflix on the other hand is sufficiently cashed up to make massive investments in original content, which gives them the added advantage of owning the rights and lets them put it on Netflix in any country without having to worry about local licensing deals.

They've also spent big buying up the rights to iconic programs, with a focus on international rights.

Breaking Bad isn't available on Netflix in Australia but a follow-up movie based on one of the show's few survivors is. Picture: Supplied
Breaking Bad isn't available on Netflix in Australia but a follow-up movie based on one of the show's few survivors is. Picture: Supplied

The company splashed out acquiring the worldwide rights to beloved 90s sitcoms Seinfeld and Friends, but in Australia you can't find them on Netflix, as Stan had already snapped up the local rights.

Australia and New Zealand are the only two countries that don't have Breaking Bad streaming on Netflix, for a similar reason.

Fans can still watch the iconic show's Netflix-produced movie sequel El Camino.

A pre-existing licensing agreement with a streaming rival has kept Friends off of Netflix. Picture: Supplied
A pre-existing licensing agreement with a streaming rival has kept Friends off of Netflix. Picture: Supplied

Australia also misses out on shows like Doctor Who, Lost, The West Wing, and Twin Peaks as well as iconic movies like Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump, which are available on Netflix in other countries.

We are one of the few countries where you can lose a whole day watching The Godfather Trilogy in its entirety, if you've got 9 hours and 10 minutes to kill.

Originally published as What Aussie Netflix users miss out on


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