Netflix launched in South Africa at $8/month

Online movie and television series streaming service Netflix has officially gone live in 130 countries, including South Africa on Wednesday night. By Gareth van Zyl.

Netflix-640

Online movie and television series streaming service Netflix has officially gone live in 130 countries including South Africa on Wednesday night.

Co-founder and CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, made the announcement at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in the US.

Amid the announcement, the South African Netflix website was switched on at www.netflix.com/za on Wednesday and advertised a price of US$7,99 (R126) per month with a free month’s trial for use on a single screen. An high-definition service costs $9,99/month (R158), viewable through two screens simultaneously, while an ulta-HD premium service fetches $11,99/month (R190) and offering 4K content and simultaneous viewing on up to four screens.

Other additional countries to get the service included Russia, India and South Korea, according to the announcement from Netflix. China, though, is not on Netflix’s new countries ,while other countries excluded from the launch are Crimea, North Korea and Syria because of US government restrictions on American companies.

“Today, I am delighted to announce that while we have been here on stage at CES, we switched Netflix in Azerbaijan, in Vietnam, in India, in Nigeria, in Poland, in Russia, in Saudi Arabia, in Singapore, in South Korea, in Turkey, in Indonesia, and in 130 new countries,” said Hastings.

Popular US TV shows that South Africans can watch on Netflix include hits such as Suits, Dexter and Weeds. Meanwhile original Netflix content like Narcos and Marco Polo are also available in South Africa.

Netflix, which started its streaming service in the US in 2007, last year expressed a goal to expand to an extra 150 countries across the globe.

As part of its wider launch on Wednesday, Netflix also said that it’s also bolted on more language support for the likes of Arabic and Korean speakers.  — Fin24

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  • Greg Mahlknecht

    signing up now.. it’s FROM $7.99 a month.
    $7.99 – SD, 1 screen
    $9.99 – HD, 2 screens
    $11.99 – UHD, 4 screens

  • I’ve had Netflix for a year now, paying 9 EUR (Signed up in the EU at the time) for the HD, 2 screen option, and I wanted to warn everyone that the SA catalogue of shows is still quite limited at the moment. Over the months, licencing agreements will allow more shows to arrive. Personally I’m still using Unotelly DNS to switch regions as needed to get all the content I like, but it’s great to have Netflix here natively now!

    My 2mbps line runs content fine and, while not at full HD (I use the plan for the 2 screen option), Netflix seemingly uses good compression because it looks fine. I use about 60GB/month on Netfix + other stuff, definitely expect to use 1GB+ a day on SD watching Netflix as you’d watch DStv, but there is a quality option you can adjust if you’re worried about data usage.

  • richard samson

    Any confirmation what the catalogue looks like, is it UK alike or based on another country?

  • Taryn

    It’s very limited, but still has some of the big name shows and lots of Netflix original content. Notable exceptions are House of Cards and Orange is the New Black – presume old multichoice is still holding onto licences for those at the moment. Number of seasons available on some shows is also quite poor.

  • Ofentse Letsholo

    Sweet, good luck to their business. 🙂

  • richard samson

    Since pricing is uniform, this means VPN and DNS services will remain popular until the content available changes or local ISPs zero rate the traffic.

  • CharlieTango

    Great news.

  • LudMeister

    I have fibre so I have never had issues with streaming. I am glad you brought this up because have a lot of friends on 2, 4 and 10mb links that are sure they will be able to stream on Netflix. So good to know this.

  • Greg Mahlknecht

    Showmax doesn’t seem to have those, so Multichoice don’t seem to have streaming rights – and I doubt Netflix would be stupid enough to give someone else sole streaming rights on their content!

  • David

    Give them a chance, only been a day or so.

  • Xentri667

    As a South African living abroad, I am able to access South African Netflix but wondering if there is any good local SA content?

  • Seak

    I’ve got a subscription with both showmax and netflix. At the moment showmax has more content than Netflix and Showmax has south african content.

  • Vusumuzi Sibiya

    OK Seak…

    Let’s try and turn the moment that you are making reference to into a single unit, shall we…

    How many of these moments more has Showmax been around longer than NetflixZA…???

  • McTSA

    Humble beginnings. I am just pleased to see the arrival of Netflix arrival.

    Even my good missus who lives in her various series and documentaries in dstv (lower case deliberate) has their arrival and started asking her own questions on how to stream. The day I can walk away from dstv may be closer than I first thought.

    Ultimately it will be cheaper to upgrade my ADSL line speed (if necessary) and steam than maintain the ever increasing cost of dstv. Even swtiching to the UHD option to stream to 4 screens is more affordable.

    I am looking forward to seeing their content library grow. Happy days! : )

  • Seak

    Smells like troll bait…Kinda defeats the purpose of referening to a moment. Most customers don’t care what a company will offer in the future. When a customer is spending their money now they are looking at what they getting now. It’s not kickstarter. When the “moment” comes to that all netflix’s content is available in Mzanzi I will re-evaluate my opinion as a customer.

    And don’t forget we are paying the same price as someone with all the content.

  • Steve

    It’s simple, DSTV (multichoice) has the rights to those shows and of course netflix would sell it to them considering they weren’t in the country before now. When the deals expire netflix will hold onto the rights because now they can actually offer it to us.

  • Vusumuzi Sibiya

    >>Most customers don’t care what a company will offer in the future.

    Well, as someone who has been in business for quite sometime, I would certainly disagree. I think you speak for yourself (in the demonstration of exactly how smart you are) and with the goal in business always being to build a loyal customer base;

    …future offerings is what would be a top consideration of many customers; which school of business did you study at…??? Could it perhaps have been one of those fly-by-night setups that don’t care about what they;

    >>will offer in the future

    …to their customers/students…???

  • Greg Mahlknecht

    Turns out it wasn’t that after all. DSTV has the broadcast rights, not streaming rights. Sony co-financed a number of early Netflix productions and it’s the Sony rights issues that prevent them bringing them to many international markets. Nothing to do with Multichoice.

  • Greg Mahlknecht

    I disagree, in a month-to-month easy-to-change market like this, there’s very little customer loyalty. If there’s a contract, then future offerings are important, but if you can turn it on and off as you please with the click of a mouse, it really doesn’t matter.

    Just look at ISPs and pay as you go customers. “we promise our service will improve” don’t mean jack there. Customers are very fickle, and rightly so. Why should you pay more for inferior products when you can just go to a better service, wait for the promises to be delivered then swap back.

  • Steve

    Interesting. What I don’t get is why would Sony withhold it? What do they gain from that?

  • Greg Mahlknecht

    Probably just force of habit or company policy – so much of the world’s content is owned/licensed by Sony, and most of it is zone protected, etc. … this has to be new ground for them.

  • Vusumuzi Sibiya

    And that would have been the reason for the introduction of number porting to also benefit the huge prepaid;

    >>month-to-month easy-to-change market like this,

    …but guess what??? customer brand loyalty trumps it ALL; and that would be the difference in how I do business, right there on the ground, talking the customer’s language; respecting and endearing myself to the customer in a manner that demonstrates that I truly know and understand their situation.

  • Vusumuzi Sibiya

    There was an article on TC about the most streamed music in ZA being Joyous Celebration.

    They broke-off the relationship for a while with Sony after we had also worked with them on the Live DVD productions up to Joyous 13… but they are once again back with Sony.

    Sony has certainly been more welcoming of the digital revolution in the industry and they also have their own platform as well as a wide selection of devices and consumer electronics that can place them in a commanding position in this space.

  • Greg Mahlknecht

    Are you saying that you offer an inferior product, but keep your customers by promising them better in the future, and their loyalty keeps them with you? Because that’s what this discussion is about.

    I work the opposite way – I make sure I offer better service than my competition and don’t need to worry about making promises and hoping people stay with me because they like me.

  • Vusumuzi Sibiya

    Greg, there is another more recent TC article;

    “Expect more to come from Netflix: analyst”

    >>Because that’s what this discussion is about.

    …and Netflix themselves have also sold future expectations and promises to the ZA market and other new territories; by emphasizing that their vision is to offer one global catalogue; and are working to overcome hurdles that currently exist regarding territorial content rights.

    >>I work the opposite way

    You should try working in the way and manner that delivers mass-ive results and brand loyalty.

    [PS Your first comment suggests that you are already a NetflixZA customer… it wouldn’t have anything to do with believing the promises made by Netflix; now, would it…???]

  • Greg Mahlknecht

    >”Expect more to come from Netflix: analyst”

    It’s Arthur Goldstuck – I don’t know anyone in the IT industry takes him seriously, I generally skip his utterances.

    >You should try working in the way and manner that delivers mass-ive results and brand loyalty.

    I’m doing fine, thanks, and my customers are very happy. If I have to rely on brand loyalty to retain customers, I consider it a failure on my behalf. Customer loyalty can delay customers leaving you, but it can’t stop them leaving eventually.

    >PS Your first comment suggests that you are already a NetflixZA customer

    I’m not. But even the full Netflix experience is extremely underwhelming, I find DSTV expensive, but you get what you pay for – it really does have a really great content catalogue. But the second Netflix/Showmax has a comparable product I’ll skip over in a heartbeat. Zero loyalty to DSTV even though I’ve been a satisfied customer for decades.

  • Vusumuzi Sibiya

    >>signing up now.. it’s FROM $7.99 a month.

    That’s what I based my remark on…

    >>Zero loyalty to DSTV even though I’ve been a satisfied customer for decades.

    …others and not just DStv or myself would describe that as being loyal.

  • Greg Mahlknecht

    Free trial. I was signing up, not subscribing. As the adage goes: “assumption is the mother of all f***-ups” 🙂

    >others and not just DStv or myself would describe that as being loyal.

    I’d call it “no viable alternative”. The same reason I used Telkom for decades and the very millisecond I didn’t have to use them any more I left them.

  • Vusumuzi Sibiya

    >>I’d call it “no viable alternative”.

    I’ve presented a few viable alternatives to MC for “more options” and ones which I’d also confirmed with Altech UEC, could be implemented on the available decoders.

    But because of such “loyal customers” as yourself – and the below, are not my words but the exact words from the horse’s mouth;

    “We know that our customers want just the carrot… but if we can get away with forcing them to buy the ‘cow+carrot’ just so they can get the carrot… then we will continue to do so – your viable alternatives can certainly work but they are a non-starter if you want to do business with us.”

    And so, I do know very well that ZA has got such loyal DStv customers as yourself to thank for the situation that is prevailing because YOU would rather complain on TC about the monopoly than terminate your subscription and force DStv to give YOU more options.

  • Greg Mahlknecht

    >I’ve presented a few viable alternatives

    They aren’t viable alternatives. They don’t have the content.

  • Vusumuzi Sibiya

    Greg, learn to follow what is being said instead of always jumping to a response that you haven’t applied any thought to;

    >>They don’t have the content.

    All the the content rights are with MC and that would be the very reason why the “viable alternatives” or “more options” for selecting your preferred channels of choice would be presented to them so that they can implement what customers have always said they want.

  • Greg Mahlknecht

    Yes exactly – it’s not customer loyalty, the competition can’t get the content. You yourself just said that, by saying they’d jump ship if someone else gave them what they want.

  • Vusumuzi Sibiya

    I firstly support proudly South African businesses and entrepreneurs like yourself…

    Multichoice has indeed done a whole lot for SA sports and the industry; but there’s certainly a whole lot more that they could’ve done for the SA consumer if it wasn’t all about the bottom-line first; and if SA consumers, like yourself, exercised their power to force Multichoice to give them “more option” which is exactly what they’ve always wanted as loyal customers.

    It’s time YOU learnt that complaining whilst paying your premium subscription to DStv is not going to make things any better for YOU.

  • Greg Mahlknecht

    I wasn’t complaining about DSTV. I think you missed the part I said I was a “satisfied customer”.

    I did however complain a lot about Telkom, because I was not a satisfied customer, and I did a LOT of work to spearhead a project to get FTTH in to my neighbourhood. So don’t preach to me about exercising my power.

  • Vusumuzi Sibiya

    Well, I suppose…

    >>Zero loyalty to DSTV even though I’ve been a satisfied customer for decades.

    …can in many ways also point to the;

    …Zero loyalty of some MPs in parliament who are also satisfied with the pay and with an option of floor-crossing would undoubtedly move to the same ruling party they criticize.

    I’m always amazed at how those who would strongly feel that;

    >>don’t preach to me about exercising my power.

    …are the very ones that would share the same common juDAs characteristics –

    …but of-course you’ve never ever complained about DStv given that you’ve been such;

    >>a satisfied customer for decades.

    So, you can no doubt ignore this comment since it certainly doesn’t apply to you.

  • Greg Mahlknecht

    OK, dragging in to political name-calling. Thread over for me.

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