Netflix CEO: VPN Backlash is From Small “Vocal Minority”, Not a Big Deal [u]

Netflix told us the VPN crackdown was coming, and albeit slowly, it’s getting harder and harder for Canadians and other users to access libraries outside their home countries.

Netflix error

The reason for banning proxy access to other Netflix libraries was to respect content distribution rights. While Netflix originally said not much would change, over the past while Canadians and other VPN users have complained their proxy services no longer work with the streaming service.

There are dedicated sub-Reddits on the subject of bypassing Netflix restrictions and so far, it appears the company is winning.

During its recent 2016 Q1 earnings conference call, when asked about VPN changes on results, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings addressed the impact as a minor detail, not significant enough to show any changes in their subscriber numbers or financials (via Torrent Freak):

“It’s a very small but quite vocal minority. So it’s really inconsequential to us, as you could see in the Q1 results,”

Netflix CFO David Wells added there was strong growth in the United States and globally still, so despite VPN users complaining about being shut out, not enough people have cancelled in hordes to show any impact on the company.

Recent stories by the CBC and more note Canadians are “outraged” at Netflix’s VPN blockade, citing angry users on Twitter who claim they have cancelled Netflix and are going back to torrenting. OpenMedia’s petition against Netflix and their VPN ban has accumulated over 43,000 signatures.

While companies such as Unotelly and Unblock-Us allowed proxy access to other Netflix regions, they’ve either been banned by PayPal to accept payments and their proxies no longer work.

Update: StreamJackTV does not work with Netflix; while we were able to load the video library, playing a video was a different story. Apologies everyone.

As you can see below, after changing our DNS to a U.S. address, Netflix on iOS showed their U.S. library, indicated by the addition of Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown (which is not available in Canada):

IMG 0853

When we revert back to our old DNS, within Netflix Canada, nothing shows up when we try to search for the same thing:

Screenshot 2016 04 21 10 38 53

Netflix currently has 81.5 million users worldwide; earlier this week the company suggested it is now keeping an “open mind” about offering offline downloads for its customers.

Netflix starts at $7.99/month in Canada for its basic plan, while their HD and Ultra HD plan with the ability to watch on four screens is $11.99 per month.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Michal

    pretty sure the $7.99/month is dead… this or next month is the last of that deal.

  • Yeah under our account it says good until June 2016.

  • KIII

    Recently ended a subscription for the most part of a VPN block. I imagine as Netflix takes on more in house production the restrictions will be less and less but it kind of sucks for right now.

    Was wondering recently out of all those millions of subscribers what an average library would look like per person of digital purchases…

    If you subscribe to streaming do your digital purchases decrease or do most find an increase maybe?

  • Jezzah

    Unlocator has a beta version of their smartdns service up and running that defeats netflix’s new geolocation block. Been using that without issue since Vpn’s started going down.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    “It’s a very small but quite vocal minority. So it’s really inconsequential to us, as you could see in the Q1 results,” Wow, so Netflix isn’t even pretending to care about customers anymore; they admit that it’s really all about the money.

  • Shaf

    Keep torrenting!