It must have been frustrating for you at times when you opened a streaming service to watch a movie, show, or documentary, but it wasn’t available in your country.
Or if you wanted to watch a movie or show that is only available on a streaming service that is only available in certain regions (e.g., Hulu, HBO Max).
But did you ever wonder why streaming services don’t just make all shows and movies available everywhere around the world? This is the topic that this article will be thoroughly discussing.
In order for a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu to make a show available in a certain region, it must first purchase a license from the producing company of the show. These streaming licenses act like permission you take from content and movie creators. They last for a specified period and prevent the streaming service from getting banned for copyright violations.
A streaming license is quite pricy and requires a huge budget. In the year 2019 alone, Netflix paid $14.7 billion for licensed content.
How Does Licensing Work?
The licensing process has two parties to it; the content/movie creator and the streaming service. The contract between the two sides allows the broadcasting company to stream a movie or a show in a certain region for a specific period of time.
You might notice that a lot of non-original content is available on one streaming service only, and that is due to exclusive agreements. In exclusive contracts between the broadcasting company and the content owner, the streaming service gets exclusive rights to manage and stream the content. This type of license is quite expensive. However, it does bring so much profit to the streaming company as it attracts a large number of people to subscribe to the service.
What to Do if a Streaming Service Is Not Available in Your Country
Exclusive licenses can be great for the broadcasters as it increases their profits by attracting more subscribers. However, the same licenses could be a problem for people who want to watch the content but are outside the region agreed upon in the licensing contract.
This brings us to conclude that there are two possible reasons why you can’t watch certain content on a certain streaming platform:
- The content on the streaming service is not available in your country.
- The streaming service is not available in your country.
But that shouldn’t be something to get you upset as there is a little trick to help you watch whatever you want on any streaming service and from anywhere around the world.
The trick is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN in short) to bypass the geo-restrictions imposed on content and streaming platforms.
A VPN goes around geo-blocks by hiding your physical IP address and concealing it with another IP address that is located in the country where the server you connected to is.
A Guide to Help You Stream Your Favorite Content Using a VPN
If you’re planning on using a VPN to watch content, this is a simple guide that will help.
Let’s start with the more difficult process.
Streaming on a region-exclusive streaming service:
Hulu is one example of a streaming service that is available in one place only. Users outside the U.S cannot watch on Hulu unless they use a VPN.
First: buy a good VPN (see Pure VPN VS IPVanish).
Second: connect to a U.S server.
Third: create an account on Hulu and fill in your information (Tip: you need to use a U.S Zip code for Hulu).
Fourth: subscribe to Hulu, and you’re ready to go!
Streaming geo-restricted content:
Netflix provides content that is exclusive to certain regions. For example, the popular show Friends is not available all around the world, so to watch it wherever you are, this is what you need to do:
First: Buy a trusted VPN.
Second: Connect to a server located in a country where Friends is available on Netflix.
Third: Close Netflix and Open it again and start watching Friends wherever you are in the world!