First impressions: Is Netflix in PH worth it?

In Games, Apps, and OS by Ramon Lopez3 Comments

You might have heard that Netflix is streaming to almost every part of the world, including the Philippines. And now that the world’s most popular subscription video-on-demand service is available locally, the question that’s in the air is, assuming the 30-day trial period has ended, is it worth paying the monthly premium for unlimited streaming?

Well, if we’re talking about Netflix in the Philippines sans a VPN connection, or a similar service that lets you access Netflix content from the U.S., the short answer is no. Not yet, anyway.

Is it worth paying the monthly premium for Netflix in the Philippines? The short answer is no. Not yet, anyway.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve subscribed to Netflix’s premium P550-per-month option, and found the local catalog of TV shows and movies to be too thin for the price. Many of the series I’m looking forward to watching or rewatching are missing, with Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Family Guy, and House of Cards leading the list of popular programs that missed the cut, likely due to licensing and cost issues. A survey by claims that “93% of titles available on Netflix in the U.S. are not available in the Philippines.”


Netflix’s pricing in the Philippines

The discrepancies in offerings aside, most Netflix originals are thankfully available in the Philippines, including Narcos, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Sense8, and Orange Is the New Black, as well as a sizable sum of currently airing TV shows and films released in recent memory.

You won’t find Filipino content on Netflix; when it comes to local programming, your best bet is still to subscribe to HOOQ. But for everything else, Netflix is second to none. I’d quite happily pay extra for the base subscription (P370) over iflix’s monthly rate of P99.

As for the Netflix app and website, both deliver the best possible experience on mobile and PC, though your mileage may vary depending on the speed of your device or network. I get close to 50Mbps speeds on my Globe fiber connection so streaming content in full resolution isn’t a problem whatsoever. I don’t own a 4K TV or monitor, so I can’t say if the same would be true for Ultra HD streaming. (The recommended speed for 4K quality is 25 megabits per second, in case you’re wondering; needless to say, my home connection is more than enough.)

You won’t find Filipino content on Netflix; when it comes to local programming, your best bet is still to subscribe to HOOQ.

As it stands, the local iteration of Netflix is pretty good, and already better than the competition in terms of American-produced content. But it’s too expensive now to buy into.

Of course, we wouldn’t be having this conversation had it launched with majority of the stuff that’s currently on offer Stateside, or if you’re willing to purchase a premium VPN package that would let you watch content that’s otherwise not meant for the Philippine market. But perhaps in a year’s time the content conundrum will be ironed out, and Netflix in other regions will be on a par with that of the U.S.

For now, I’d say take advantage of the free trial offer, then decide for yourself if it’s worth keeping for much longer.

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Ramon Lopez

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Reviews editor: Ramon "Monch" Lopez has 16 years of professional experience creating and editing content for print and digital publications such as Yahoo. He headed the gadgets-merchandising division of one of the Philippines’ largest retail operators somewhere in between.