HighSpeedInternet.com recently ranked the most popular Netflix show in every country around the globe. By analysing Google Trends data, the site was able to reveal which Netflix title sparked the most interest in Australia in 2018.
There's only one problem - Australia's #1 Netflix show isn't actually available on Netflix Australia. To watch it, you'll need to subscribe to Foxtel Now or use a VPN to access the US version of Netlix. Whoops.
Cast your eye on Autralia's #1 Netflix show in the graph below:
As you can see, Australia's most popular "Netflix show" turned out to be Wentworth - a prison drama that is currently exclusive to Foxtel. So what went wrong?
In short, HighSpeedInternet.com incorrectly assumed that Wentworth was available on Netflix Australia. And why wouldn't it be? The show is currently available on US Netflix and was produced in Australia. It's a perfectly reasonable assumption to make.
I imagine that upon first accessing the US Netflix library, most Australians begin to belt out the classic Aladdin jam “A Whole New World” - it truly is like stepping into an alternate, content-filled universe of TV and movies. Unfortunately, since Netflix cracked down on VPNs at the beginning of 2016, its been much harder to access the US library, but fret not! Here’s some reliable VPNs that will grant you a golden ticket to Netflix-and-chill-ville.
We can attribute this snafu to the myriad licencing agreements between rights holders and streaming services in different markets - Netflix has the rights to Wentworth in the US but not in its country of origin.
This also highlights the raw deal Aussies continue to receive on the local version of Netflix - according to a recent ACCAN study, Australian subscribers receive less than 40 per cent of the full US Netflix library. Tch.
With any luck, this archaic divvying up of agreements will be gradually phased out as the industry moves towards a handful of universal, global services. Until then, we recommend bypassing Netflix's geoblocks with a VPN. It's the only way to watch "Netflix Australia's most popular show" on Netflix.
Despite the streaming revolution we're still paying more than Americans for content, and getting less in return. Hollywood and the music studios have always treated Australians as second-class citizens to be fleeced and it seems that little has changed with the subscription streaming revolution.
While globalisation works in favour of big business, we're still expected to abide by geo-blocking and shop local even when we're getting screwed.