• Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Netflix: What do South Africans think?

With the announcement of Netflix launching in South Africa a few months ago, it might have seemed like a belated Christmas gift from America.

But has the novelty seemingly worn off quicker than one would expect?

There are plenty of reasons why the excitement of Netflix in South Africa seems to have died down. For one, there are not many South Africans who are fortunate to enjoy the luxury of cable TV, never mind Netflix. There is also the added hurdle of using the streaming service with limited to no access to the Internet for many and data bundles that do not provide a stable line.

In retrospect with the cost of living, poverty and high levels of unemployment, does Netflix have a place in South Africa and is the service it provides, actually worth it?

Cell C recently pledged to extend its fibre reach to customers across South Africa through their Fibre Optic Broadband service, C-Fibre, but the familiar truism raises its head; will South Africans be able to afford it? But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

So how does DSTV fit in?

Over the years, DSTV critics have complained about the lack of entertainment the satellite service has to offer. While there is no shortage of sport, sport, and more sport as well as the same old movies, many customers have been left agape at the cost of lacklustre entertainment.

This surely explains why South Africans were so interested in Netflix coming to South Africa and whether it was a worthy competitor for DSTV, whose monopolisation of the market was simply as a result of lack of competition.

CompareGuru conducted a survey to find out what South Africans think about Netflix.

Here’s what South Africans had to say:

Netflix (2)

Although there might have been much hype around the launch of Netflix in South Africa, not everyone was as pleased with the service or the way Netflix has challenged conventional viewing.

“I joined Netflix a year ago, before they officially launched Netflix in South Africa and loved the content that was available to view. I was using a proxy server to watch the US content. Netflix is now blocking me from more than half the content that I was able to watch before, yet I pay exactly the same in Dollar as an American customer, for the watered down content available here to protect DSTV content licenses,” said one HelloPeter user.

According to The Guardian, in 2015, French reporters are also not quite the fans of Netflix, as they accused the head of content at Netflix, Ted Sarandos, of “being part of an attempt to destroy Europe’s film economy by drawing potential audiences away from their local cinemas”.

There is no denying Netflix has become a big part of popular culture. Phrases such as “Netflix and chill” now form part of the Internet slang dictionary. Despite South Africans not being impressed it is fair to say, what is offered on the SA Netflix platform is not what is shown across the world and many have commented that the series they follow diligently via torrent sites are miles ahead of Netflix’s offerings. This is understandably a big deterrent to those who do have a stable and accessible internet line and want to keep up to date with Game of Thrones at the same time as their American counterparts.

In 2015 Netflix received 34 nominations, three up from 2014 at the Golden Globes and have been winning and receiving nominations since 2013 for showcasing top class series such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.

To date, Netflix has launched in 130 countries.

Netflix has also made its presence felt in Hollywood, challenging cable television and traditional movie distributors and cinema chains with its content.

It has produced noteworthy shows, such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black and even their very own Jessica Jones.

Along with streaming sites Hulu and Amazon, Netflix has in some way led the pack in the road to diverse representation of individuals on screens, though the transmission is arguably happening at a snail’s pace.

Below is a list of shows the US on demand internet movie and television streaming service Netflix, offer in both South Africa and USA, as well as shows expected to have been available in South Africa, but is only seen in America.


Netflix (3)

It seems the Netflix offered to South Africans still has a long way to go before avid and dedicated series followers perform the permanent switch. While South Africans would much rather recommend Netflix over DSTV, it not by a large margin.

Having a NPS score of -55 would not be considered by any means an end goal for the infiltration of Netflix into South Africa. It is clear however that many South Africans feel underwhelmed by the service and right back where they started when grouching about the lacklustre DSTV offering.

It seems South Africans will have to continue to wait for a quality satellite TV service that is able to compete with the big dogs of The United States and the rest of the world.


Author Bio

CompareGuru's primary aim is to source and provide affordable product options to South Africans for Mobile, Broadband, Banking, Insurance and Travel. Through our independent research of all the markets, we are able to comprehensively provide you with side-by-side comparisons for you to make an informed decision. More