As most of you may know, Netflix has opened its doors to Latin America and the Caribbean. When I heard the rumors some months ago, I was ecstatic. One of the best streaming content services around, available to me finally? I could finally view some of the shows I miss, due to either time or availability constraints? Count me in!
However, my glee was short-lived. Netflix opened on Monday 12th September I signed up on Wednesday and by Friday I had cancelled my subscription. Why you ask? Two major reasons. I would like to develop each reason in its entirety so here goes.
Reason number one, Latin America and the Caribbean CANNOT, be lumped together. It is a given that just by sheer numbers, Spanish is the predominant language spoken in that grouping. However, it leaves out the millions of English-speaking Caribbean islanders who clamor for foreign media content. The content is either English with the option to have Spanish or Portuguese Subtitles OR it is purely dubbed over in Spanish. Effectively ruining the six seasons of the Office which I attempted to watch and most of the rest of the experience.
Reason number two; The content itself. Now I like to watch an old movie from time to time and there are available some real classics there on Netflix, but that alone won’t do. Netflix is woefully behind on the availability of current or at least reasonably current movies and series. I will say I have never had Netflix during my time in New York and therefore am not entirely familiar with their content lineup. From speaking with friends who access their Netflix through region unblocking sites such as ‘unblockus.com’ they are quite pleased with the service.
Speaking plainly from a Caribbean perspective, more and more, islanders are heading to the US, Canada and the UK to further their education. In doing so they are exposed to the foreign content with much higher production value than regional content. Compounding this effect we see a proliferation of US Content reaching our Televisions through Cable Service Providers. When these islanders come back ‘home’ there is a strengthened desire for content produced in the US and UK. For Netflix to provide such watered down service is upsetting. The same service that made for Netflix’s meteoric success is desired by the rest of the world, providing something that is a shadow of it is definitely detrimental to the brand.