If you want to save a few bucks on Netflix, move to Mexico.
The basic package, which costs $7.99 per month in the US, will run you about $5 there, when converted to US dollars at recent exchange rates, a May report by the research-firm Bernstein showed. The Latin American country is the cheapest place in the world to sign up for the streaming service compared to its country of origin. (If you want to understand how to access content across borders, here is Quartz’s guide to getting a VPN.)
Netflix also costs less in countries like Japan, Colombia, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina than it does in the US, according to the Bernstein analysis of more than 60 of the 190-plus countries Netflix operates in.
What’s the most expensive place to buy Netflix? Switzerland and Denmark, according to the data. There, the basic Netflix package costs upwards of $11 a month—a 38% premium.
Netflix caters its pricing to local markets. In Japan, where rival Hulu launched before Netflix, the company set a lower rate for its basic and standard packages, but kept its premium pricing above that in the US. It allowed the service to remain competitive while making up the difference with the higher-end offering.
Generally, the strategy has been to start higher than lower, Bernstein said, as it’s often easier to freeze or lower prices than it is to raise them. “Starting with a higher price also establishes the fact that this is a product worth paying for,” the report said. “Compared to the US, in most foreign countries the core pay-TV product is (much) less expensive (and less ad-intensive), inflation is often higher, disposable income is often lower, and the Netflix product is often not as rich or localized. All of which makes price increases more difficult.”
Figuring out just how much customers are willing to pay for Netflix is crucial to the streaming company’s future as growth nears a ceiling in the US and overseas audiences begin to make up a greater share of the business. International streaming now accounts for 40% of Netflix’s overall quarterly revenue.
Whilst Netflix may be available almost everywhere in the world, the service isn’t the same everywhere you access it.
The licensing deals that grant Netflix the rights to stream TV shows and movies are specific to each title. So the service’s catalog can vary wildly by region. In some cases, Netflix doesn’t have the global rights, and therefore can’t make a particular program available to all customers. Netflix Japan, for example, reportedly doesn’t have shows like The Walking Dead, and many of the BBC dramas that are on Netflix US.
And in other cases, the service has to stagger its releases. That’s what happened with the fifth season of House of Cards, which is already available in the US and other regions, but won’t stream in the Middle East and North Africa until June 30.