How the Canadian Version of Netflix Compares to the U.S. Version


According to a new report from the Toronto Star, Canadian Netflix users only have access to half of the movies and television shows that are available to users in the United States.

Even though this seems like Netflix is leaving Canadian users out, it may not be as bad as it seems. The report notes that Canadians have access to more hit TV shows and movies. The total number of titles available in Canada is less because there is less filler content.

Canadian Netflix viewers have access to several movie titles that are unavailable in the U.S., including Blue Jasmine (2013), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Part 1 (2012), X-Men: First Class (2011), and Black Swan (2010).

Star columnist and researcher at the University of Ottawa Michael Geist said:

“The cynical view is that Netflix doesn’t need to create a larger library for Canada since many Canadians know how to access the U.S. service. That means Netflix pays for U.S. rights, but knows that others may find ways to access the content (and will subscribe on that basis).”

The data (shown above) was provided to the Toronto Star by Netflixable. Netflix continually refuses to release official information about the distribution of their content. Netflixable CEO Josh Loewen said:

“A lot of people who have never done this make the assumption that the United States Netflix is the best. Their number might be the highest, but the quality of the titles (matters). There is no best. Canada’s got some great stuff that’s exclusive to us.”

What do you think of Netflix’s Canadian content library? If you want to access Netflix USA, all you need is a VPN service like ExpressVPN or Unblock-Us to make it happen. Let us know in the comments below.


  • Stroodle

    I subscribe to Netflix Canada but use a subscription (Unblock-Us) to allow me to select all other regions – extremely easy to use. I know there are ways around this but I like easy! I find myself switching to different regions throughout a week and find when I do this, I see the new content added and find I almost always have something new to watch. When I was only on Canadian I found myself getting antsy waiting for new content. I like the option to switch when I want and gives me a better experience overall. Just my 2 cents!

  • Max

    Try Hotspot Shield it way better and price is $2.99 month or $29.99 a year check it out

  • Al

    This may change to even fewer programs being available in Canada in the future if our communist-bent government is successful in enforcing the same Canadian content rules onto web broadcasters as they currently do on television providers.

  • Tim

    downside of Hotspot Shield is that is can only be used on a computer, whereas Unblock-Us can be set up on a router and all devices can be used with it.

  • Mykeljon

    It’s probably time for you to watch some educational TV so that you can learn what communist really means. Canada is about as far away from communist as you can get especially with ultra-conservative Harper in control.

  • Max

    not exactly Hotspot Shield can be connected to all Multi-device support: iOS, Android & Kindle, and Gaming consoling not just computers and plus its also more secure

  • Al

    The government wants to dictate what we are allowed to watch. A common stance held be several communist societies.

  • The-Marl

    Actually, they want to add content, not force you to watch or subtract content that they may not want us to see. So no, not like communism at all.

  • Al

    Wrong. The rules set out in Cancon (the government rules regarding Canadian Content) are to enforce a certain percentage of Canadian content, or the provider is to pay a fee. As the amount of Canadian content (especially that of interest to anyone) is far less than the available content from the US and elsewhere, this instantly drops the number of available US content available to us, as we currently experience with broadcast TV (hence the reason for Canadian HBO, etc.).
    The government is, therefore, trying to FORCE us to watch a certain amount of Canadian content. THAT is akin to the practices of communism, as it is an attempt to remove our FREEDOM to experience whatever we wish.

  • talkiewalkie

    So you are for the government controlling how much Canadian content is forced on us. Got it!

  • talkiewalkie

    bs, if the flawed cancon policies are forced on netflix, that will mean Netflix will need a certain percentage Canadian content available, which means possibly deleting non-canadian content to meet the quota. If you love Canadian content, watch away, but please, don’t feel the need to force it on the rest of us!

  • talkiewalkie

    Every single one of your comments are correct on here. Don’t listen to the fringe on here that feel the need to impose their ‘Mr. D’ and ‘Arctic Air’ Canadian content on the rest of us.
    If there is demand, people will watch it. Country of origin is irrelevant.

  • Mykeljon

    Wrong! A communist government prevents its citizens from watching ANY programming from outside the country. A communist government only allows its citizens to watch government propaganda. Canadian content regulations are not censorship. There is a huge amount of American and European and multinational TV available for us to watch. The regulations are there to allow Canadian TV producers to survive in an environment that is dominated by the U.S. We still have freedom of choice. We are not forced to watch only Canadian content. We are not forced to watch anything. The government does NOT dictate what we are allowed to watch. The government gives us more choice by ensuring that we can watch more than just American programs. It ensures that we can watch Canadian news programming rather than being restricted to American propaganda on Fox News and CNN.

  • CanucksGoal

    You should read the news about Netflix is slowly starting to block IP addresses that use VPN services. Also read about our Canada notice-and-notice system which is starting this month. Enjoy your VPN service while it lasts.

  • Anon

    Crap. That’s why I have Popcorn Time.

  • Al

    You’d better educate yourself on communism because, at it’s base intent, it supports freedoms. It’s just certain communist governments that decided to impose restrictions to peoples’ freedoms. Clearly I was facetiously mocking our government for bending towards that demented practice.

    The intent of the government is to force us to watch more Canadian content in order to support Canadian-produced media. Right? Well… no, that’s wrong to. The government just wants to claim that as the reason. The real reason Canadian content is forced on us (not just TV, but also things like Canadian magazine versions of US magazines) is because of Bell and Shaw and CanWest. They are the ones behind this with their lobbying of government.

    Why you ask? The real answer to all of this is…. advertising dollars. Canadian based media buys ads from Canadian media suppliers. Whereas, if most media came from outside the country, companies like the Canadian broadcast and magazine industry would get less ad dollars.

    This was all discussed on the news MANY years ago. So… educate yourself.

  • Joe

    The Dark Knight Returns? How is a cartoon that nobody has ever watched considered a “hit” movie that the U.S. is missing out on?

  • Approved

  • Al

    “minimum minority” … ? … Do you even know what you are saying?

    Don’t just blindly post without reading an entire thread. I’ve already addressed some of this.

    My comments are not about the “number of movies” on a given region of Netflix. And, as I stated, it currently does not have to do with government, but it may if out government get’s its way.

    Get a clue and READ before typing worthless information.

  • MistahTibbs

    We’re running Netflix Canada on the Roku and unblock us on Apple TV to watch Netflix US
    So far so good.
    Canada has pretty good content and has some shows not on US. And vice versa. We get the best of both worlds. Hope that doesn’t end.

  • youreallyhavenoclue

    “Communist-bent” and CPC does not compute

  • Mykeljon

    Utter nonsense. This is television we are talking about. We are NOT FORCED to watch anything. We have the FREEDOM OF CHOICE. We have access to ALL of the American network sand much more. Stop being a paranoid alarmist! You can even turn off your TV and do something useful with your time. Your prattle about communism is becoming more and more childish. You obviously know nothing about the history of communism, and the vast difference between the theory of communism and the current reality. Now go tune your TV to Fox news and stop bothering the adults in the room.

  • Guest

    If Netflix don’t own or have not licensed the Canadian rights to a property (movie, TV show, whatever) then they cannot legally show it in Canada regardless of any Canadian government or any Canadian Content bill.

  • Al

    Quit trying to be argumentative and accept the point I am trying to make. The government is forcing stations to broadcast a certain percentage of Canadian content. So I’ll help you use your brain for a moment with this simple example…
    A bucket is full of water (non Canadian shows). You add a bunch of rocks to the bucket (Canadian shows). That displaces some of the water. In this case, 50-60% of the water during prime time.

  • Al

    There’s this thing called the Internet. Here’s a hint… You’re using it right now. Do a search and be enlightened. The answer is 50-60% Canadian content during prime hours (6:00PM – 12:00AM).

    “I still don’t get the argument that if the government coaxed Netflix to make available more cancon it would be bad, or cut the total titles.”
    PERCENTAGE! Holy crap, man. If you don’t understand percentage, refer to my other post about water in a bucket.

    Incidentally, it doesn’t matter what the reasons are… advertising dollars, cultural integrity, jobs… The government should not be attempting to FORCE stations to broadcast a percentage of Canadian content.

    And you’re missing the point with your little list of top shows. It’s the shows that do not get broadcast in Canada, because of the government enforced restriction, that I have issue with.

  • Lee

    Oh God, there’s Al again.

  • Salvador

    Yes we are forced. Just try to watch the SuperBowl next weekend. One main attraction on that event is the “ads” companies produce (and pay millions of $$) for that day and we are not able to watch them in Canada. Instead, we get our “canada made” ads, a bunch of ads that are low cost productions.

    No matter the channel feed you select, you get CTV signal overriding original feed from US. Is that what you call freedom of choice?

    Freedom of choice is to have 2 channel feeds, letting me to choice between Canadian or US ads. That’s not the case.

  • Al

    That’s putting the cart before the horse. Why on earth would they attempt to license things they aren’t allowed to show?

  • Mykeljon

    Oh silly me. I thought the SuperBowl was a football game. You’re upset because you won’t get to see some commercials! Cry me a river. Why don’t you just go online after the game and find one of the many sites that will show you nothing but SuperBowl commercials. Forget the game altogether. If your primary interest is the game, then it makes no difference which station you watch.

  • Mykeljon

    Most of the television I watch is prime time. Most of the programs I watch are American. Some are British. Very few are Canadian. It is possible to watch all American all evening if you really are a TV addict. Occasionally I want to watch a Canadian program. If there were no Canadian content regulations, then there would be no Canadian content. Then I would be annoyed because, if I wanted to watch something on TV, I would be FORCED to watch American. Right now, we have a choice. Take away the regulations and our ability to choose disappears. That would take away our freedom. (Anyway, right now, I choose not to watch TV at all and debate with you instead. All the American shows I like are repeats tonight.)

  • Al

    Maybe if the government didn’t regulate what we watched, then more Canadian productions would be forced to create a better product in order to gain an audience.

  • ticky13

    The reports about Netflix blocking IPs was false. They would never do that as it cuts into their profits because they know millions of people are using VPNs.

  • Riddlemethis

    right…and the CRTC isn’t influenced by the Conservative government. #sonaiveyouare

  • Riddlemethis

    ^ spam

  • Riddlemethis

    the communist bent government you are referring to will be re-elected this year. why this socialist country we live in doesn’t impose term restrictions for the prime minister is beyond me

  • Riddlemethis

    that website (blog) showing canada vs usa netflix is poorly made, hard on the eyes, and a major browser resource hog. yuk.

  • Riddlemethis

    Roku as you know doesn’t allow DNS redirection.

  • MistahTibbs

    That’s why we use the Apple TV for US Netflix