This is the final installment of our series on The gift of good TV.
Searching for a great last-minute gift idea? Look no further than your favorite subscription-video service.
TV has gone global, which means you can give the gift of streaming video to friends and family around the world. Netflix and Amazon Prime are nearly everywhere now. And streaming services like BritBox for British TV and Kocowa for Korean programming allow transplants to follow their favorite shows from afar.
Most of these subscription-video services work the same way. You sign up with an email address online, put down a credit card, and are billed monthly from there on out, which can be troublesome as a gift.
But some have made it easy by selling gift cards and subscriptions. Quartz’s Adam Epstein broke down how to gift streaming TV in last week’s installment. Here’s the international edition.
Netflix expanded to most of the world last year. That means you can give Netflix originals like Stranger Things and House of Cards to friends and family in many corners of the globe. What they’ll get depends on where they live. The streaming-service offers local TV shows and movies where it can—licensing restrictions limit what it offers in each region.
Where it is: Everywhere, except China (though it licenses some originals to Baidu’s iQiyi there), Crimea, North Korea, and Syria.
What it costs: $7.99-$13.99/month in the US, depending on the plan. Prices vary by region. Gift cards are sold in $30, $60, and $100 increments, domestically. And it’s available at major retailers in the following countries:
- North America: US, Canada, Mexico
- South America: Brazil, Colombia
- Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK
- Asia-Pacific: Australia and Japan
Eros Now has a big selection of Bollywood and regional Indian TV shows and movies, as well as its own, original productions.
Where it is: 135 countries across Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, and South America
What it costs: $7.99/month in the US. You can gift up to a year’s subscription for $71.88. Prices vary by region.
Stan is a general-audience streaming service that competes with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in Australia. It has the streaming rights to new episodes of Western shows like Will & Grace, Sherlock, and Better Call Saul, Showtime series, a solid back catalog of TV series and movies, and some originals of its own.
Where it is: Australia
What it costs: $10-15 per month, depending on the plan. Digital-gift cards sold in A$20-120 increments.
Crave TV has the best of Canadian TV, like Orphan Black and Degrassi, older Canadian series that are hard to find outside of the country like Slings and Arrows, and other Western shows from networks like HBO and Showtime.
Where is it: Canada
What it costs: $7.99 a month. It is sold in 3-, 6-, and 12-month gift subscriptions.
Showmax is another subscription, video-on-demand service loaded with local TV shows and movies from South Africa and others parts of the world.
Where it is: Africa, and parts of Europe, and North America.
What it costs: $8.99/month in the US. Price varies by region. Showmax pre-paid vouchers are sold at major stores and accepted in South Africa.
There are services where expats can stream popular foreign movies and TV shows from broad, too. Roku, the media player, has a list of international streaming-video apps available on its platform.
Acorn TV has an array of new and classic British and foreign TV shows and movies. like ITV’s Doc Martin and the Canadian drama Murdoch Mysteries. It also has original programming of its own.
Where is it: US and Canada
What it costs: $4.99 a month, 12-month gift subscriptions available for $49.99.
For everyone else, there are virtual private networks, or VPNs. They aren’t streaming services. But you can use them to try to access geo-blocked sites by making your computer look like it’s someplace else. (Netflix and other sites have cracked down on the use of VPNs.) Many accept gift cards or prepaid-debit cards, so you can give them as gifts. Quartz’s Christopher Groskopf has a handy guide on how to pick the right VPN.