Netflix is having an interesting month. They announced on CES that they have opened up their service to 130 new countries, which includes Kenya. This was a huge deal since we can now access their huge repository of original programming and licensed programming from film studios at reasonable prices.
However, this massive expansion has brought about an interesting problem. Not every market has the exact same content due to licencing issues brought about from the programming in the database. This has led people to use VPNs so as to mask their IP addresses in order to access content that is available on other markets. For example in the US market, you can access 1157 TV shows and 4453 movies but in Kenya, you can only watch 199 TV shows and 463 movies.
This sort of behaviour led Netflix to start a war against VPNs and we are starting to hear reports that were related to that declaration. According to a report by the Australian a website Uflix claimed that the American streaming service sent notices to customers that allegedly said “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.” They also clarified on Twitter that the warning comes on when streaming.
Just to clear a few details. We never stated Netflix sent out letters to their customers. We said that a warning comes on when streaming 🙂
— uFlix (@uFlixDNS) January 21, 2016
Uflix tweeted a support page article of how their customers can be able to fix the issue which includes questions like “Is the error occurring on USA region alone or other regions too” or “Did you sign up for Netflix before or after it was available in your country?” They were urging their customers to give them more information so as to “be able to pinpoint the issue.”
This will be one of the many instances that will be reported of Netflix’s war on VPNs but as they said before, they are working on a way to make their content available to everyone so as to make VPNs unnecessary.