Wondering if it’s worth piggybacking on your Thai friend’s Netflix for a cheaper subscription? Or whether signing up in the US would get you access to better shows?
It’s no secret that Netflix’s subscription pricing varies by country — as do their available titles. Today, we’ll dig a bit deeper into the Netflix pricing model in Asian countries. We’ll uncover:
- Why the Netflix subscription pricing varies by country
- What different Asian countries are paying for Netflix
- Which Asian countries pay the most and least for Netflix
- Number of available titles by country
- Who pays the most in terms of cost-per-title
Why Does the Netflix Subscription Price Vary by Country?
Netflix content varies from country to country because of copyrights and royalties. The different laws and regulations around intellectual property also make it hard to synchronise video libraries across the world.
If you’re wondering why ‘Naked Director’ was removed from Singapore’s Netflix, or why your buddies in the US are watching a whole lot more interesting titles than you are, here’s your answer.
You’re also billed based on the country you sign up in rather than the country you access Netflix from. (The available titles are tagged to the country you’re accessing Netflix in.)
That means if you’re looking to cut costs, it’s worth getting a sense of which country has the cheapest plan.
What Are Asian Countries Paying for Netflix?
Netflix has three price plans across all countries – Basic, Standard, and Premium. There’s also a mobile-only plan being tested in certain markets, but it’s not a fixed plan in most Asian countries.
All subscribers are entitled to unlimited movies and TV shows on Netflix and can stream on their laptops, TVs, mobile phones, or tablets. However, there are a few significant differences when it comes to the number of streaming devices and video resolutions for different plans:
|Service Features||Basic Plan||Standard Plan||Premium Plan|
|Number of screens allowed to stream at the same time||1||2||4|
|Number of phones or tablets allowed for downloads||1||2||4|
|High Definition (HD) streaming||Yes||Yes|
|Ultra HD streaming||Yes|
Pricing for each country varies, but what’s consistent is that every higher-tier plan has a proportionate increase in price:
|Country||Basic Plan||Standard Plan||Premium Plan|
|India||Rs 499||Rs 649||Rs 799|
|Indonesia||IDR120,000||IDR 153,000||IDR 186,000|
|Japan||990 yen||1,490 yen||1,980 yen|
|Malaysia||RM 35||RM 45||RM 55|
|Pakistan||Rs. 950||Rs. 1,200||Rs. 1,500|
|Philippines||PHP 369||PHP 459||PHP549|
|South Korea||KRW 9,500||KRW 10,500||KRW 14,500|
|Taiwan||TWD 270||TWD 330||TWD 390|
|Thailand||THB 279||THB 349||THB419|
Which Asian Countries Pay the Most and Least?
A quick review of the Basic Plan gives us an idea of which Asian country is paying more or less than others:
|Country||Basic Plan||Basic Plan in S$||Rank (Cheapest to Most Expensive)|
|South Korea||KRW 9,500||S$10.90||6|
Who’s Paying the Least for the Basic Plan:
If you’re by yourself and dead set on getting the best deal, Pakistan’s Basic Plan (S$7.58) is the cheapest option. Second place goes to India (S$9.13) and third to the Philippines (S$9.82).
Who’s Paying the Most:
Meanwhile, Taiwan has the most expensive Basic plan (S$13.17), followed by Japan (S$12.05) and Singapore (S$11.98).
Standard Plan Comparison Across Asian Countries
Here’s the ranking for Standard Plan across Asian countries:
|Country||Standard Plan||Standard Plan in S$||Rank (Cheapest to Most Expensive)|
|South Korea||KRW 10,500||S$12.02||3|
Who’s Paying the Least for the Standard Plan:
- Again, Pakistan (S$9.54) and India (S$11.90) but this time, South Korea (S$12.02) is the third cheapest.
Who’s Paying the Most:
- Japan (S$18.21) has the most expensive Standard Plan, while Thailand (S$17.04) and Taiwan (S$16.11) are the next most pricey.
Premium Plan Comparison Across Asian Countries
|Country||Premium Plan||Premium Plan in S$||Rank (Cheapest to Most Expensive)|
|South Korea||KRW 14,500||S$16.61||7|
Who’s Paying the Least for the Premium Plan:
- Pakistan (S$11.93) and India (S$14.63) take the first two spots again, but the third place goes to the Philippines (S$14.65).
Who’s Paying the Most:
- That would be Japan (S$24.21) again, followed by Singapore (S$19.98) and Taiwan (S$19.04).
Overall, Pakistan, India and the Philippines are the cheapest places to sign up for Netflix while Japan, Singapore and Taiwan are the most expensive.
Does Every Country Access the Same Number of Shows and Movies?
Nope. And the pricing of their subscription plans isn’t proportionately adjusted, so it may seem a tad unfair.
Here’s a quick comparison of the number of shows/movies available on Netflix across 10 Asian countries:
|Country||Total Library Size (TV shows and movies)|
As you can see, Taiwan has the fewest available titles even though its price plans are among the most expensive. (Maybe they have higher quality titles, but we doubt it.)
Who Pays the Most in Terms of Cost-per-Title?
Since Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan have the most expensive Premium plans, let’s take a look at their cost-per-title:
Basic Plan – S$12.05 / 5,065 = Cost-per-title is S$0.0024
Standard Plan – S$18.21 / 5,065 = Cost-per-title is S$0.0036
Premium Plan – S$24.21 / 5,065 = Cost-per-title is S$0.0048
Basic Plan – S$11.98 / 4,768 = Cost-per-title is S$0.0025
Standard Plan – S$15.98 / 4,768 = Cost-per-title is S$0.0034
Premium Plan – S$19.98 / 4,768 = Cost-per-title is S$0.0042
Basic Plan – S$13.17 / 3,611 = Cost-per-title is S$0.0036
Standard Plan – S$16.11 / 3,611 = Cost-per-title is S$0.0045
Premium Plan – S$19.04 / 3,611 = Cost-per-title is S$0.0053
Taiwan is consistently paying more than Japan in cost-per-title by 10-50% and 26-44% when compared to Singapore – making Taiwan the most expensive Asian country for Netflix subscriptions.
Compared to India? Taiwan is paying a whopping 1 – 2.25 times more!
Basic Plan – S$9.13/ 5,591 = Cost-per-title is S$0.0016
Standard Plan – S$11.90/ 5,591 = Cost-per-title is S$0.0021
Premium Plan – S$14.63/ 5,591 = Cost-per-title is S$0.0026
Of course, these conclusions are based on price alone. There could be many underlying factors such as infrastructure, licensing, tax and legal issues that aren’t transparent to us. They might be the key reasons why Netflix prices are so much more expensive in Taiwan.
Fundamentally, the reviews here are meant to help those who have the option to sign up for Netflix at different locations and determine the best locations to do it. The savings can range from S$3.68 to S$12.28 per month but if this is a negligible sum, then just sign up wherever is most convenient for you.