Why Do Streaming Services Impose Geo-Restrictions?

Geo-restrictions have become a norm in the online video streaming business. The rather frustrating geographical limitation errors are now a part of any streaming junkie’s daily life. Due to increasing copyright infringements worldwide, producers are forced to protect their content.

Streaming Services Impose Geo-Restrictions

It’s not surprising that your access request is blocked when you try to access any streaming platform that is not officially operating in your country. Although there are several ways to overcome these geo-restrictions, the best and quickest method is streaming through best VPNs.

VPNs allow you to virtually change your actual location by simply rerouting your internet traffic through remote servers located in different countries. These handy apps also encrypt your data and maintain a level of privacy that’s hard to break in.

In this article, we will elaborate on why do streaming services impose geo-restrictions. So, whether you are new to online video and music streaming or you have been a passionate binge-watcher, settle in, and read it till the end.

What are  Geographical Restrictions (Geo-Restrictions)?

Geo-locking, which is sometimes referred to as geo-locking or geo-filtering, occurs when a certain website restricts access of its users depending on their geographical location.

Geo-restriction applies to any kind of media, including articles, services, and websites; however, online video streaming platforms have been the major target.

Almost all video-sharing websites, like Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube, use geo-blocking to prevent users from watching restricted content in particular countries.

Even though you have never had something explicitly blocked from your access, you have undoubtedly experienced some form of geo-blocking.

These companies have the option of applying regional filters to more extensive areas, including nations, cities, states, and even more precise locales.

Some websites allow you to browse the site but prevent you from seeing any kind of content. While this is the case for a few, other websites fully ban all access, stopping you from knowing about what’s on the website.

Why Do Online Streaming Platforms Impose Geo-restrictions?

Geo-restriction is most frequently caused by copyright and licensing problems. Content can only be distributed legally by the service with legal authority over the regional market’s streaming rights. Let’s explore the rationale behind why these streaming services impose these limitations in more detail!

1. Licensing Agreements and Copyright Laws

Streaming services are first required to get permission to distribute content from a certain content creator or production house in a particular country. These licensing agreements are done by studying the viewership trends in different countries. The best example is Netflix which offers different content catalogues in every country they are operating officially.

Furthermore, they must get distribution rights before airing their content in a particular region. With these streaming or distribution rights for certain regions, streaming platforms get exclusive rights to air certain titles in their licensed regions.

2. Target Market Segmentation

Considering different markets, a lot of streaming platforms develop different sections. These separate marketplaces can offer access to a regionally unique collection while restricting access to illegal content, depending upon their preference, local restrictions, and customer demands.

Because they might not be appropriate for their viewers, some Netflix Korea shows might not be featured on Netflix UK. Marketing can also take advantage of categorization. Streaming providers build interest by releasing their products sooner in other areas.

3. Study Expected Viewership Trends

Based on the nature or genre of the content, many streaming services estimate the anticipated audience in the areas where that content or title is most likely to be more popular.

This will draw more attention to the other regions that are closely related to the streaming service and enable them to save money on distributional streaming rights.

4. Distinct Pricing Plans

For the abovementioned causes, the variety of content on all streaming platforms differs across several nations. Because of this, streaming providers also have the option to charge different amounts to different clients depending upon their location for the same service or product.

Geo-restrictions make this possible by blocking you from subscribing to a provider in a country where it is available for a much lower price. For instance, you could spend less if you subscribed to Netflix Japan than to Netflix UK.

5. Competition with Competitors

It is challenging to distribute the content over multiple regions and get the required licence due to the rivalry between different streaming providers. However, streaming providers can achieve localised availability for a handful of series by directly dealing with the right owners.

But, a rival streaming provider can take the lead for the same TV show in some other location, and some fans may leave this service and subscribe to that streaming service to watch their preferred content.

6. Content Release Plans and Advertisement

Productions houses stretch out the release of much-expected movies or TV shows over several territories in a bid to maximise income. In an attempt to clear the way for the premieres of succeeding films, a public relations strategy may call for the distribution of movies or TV series in theatres at various times.

The movie may make its premiere on one streaming website sooner than it does on others owing to licensing regulations. Some fans will be forced to wait till the episode begins airing in their territory because different areas have separate release dates.

Wrap Up

Geo-restrictions on content, based on licensing agreements and copyright laws, restrict users from watching their favourite content if it’s not available in their country. But it shouldn’t deter you from missing out on a title that you have been anxiously waiting for.

With the help of a premium VPN service, you can easily bypass geographical restrictions whenever and wherever you want.

For instance, the majority of new Hollywood films and TV shows land on American streaming services like Netflix US, Hulu, or HBO Max, and you can simply connect to a US server of your VPN provider to watch your favourite title.

Get a VPN today and stream your favorite titles on your own terms!

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