Geographically restricted content has always been a hurdle for Netflix, be it the discontent among the countries that have access to relatively less content or the very fact that users on roaming won’t be able to watch their favorite show in restricted regions. This is however set to change as Netflix will soon allow European subscribers to access the Netflix services even when they are roaming in the other countries under the European Union.
The proposed law was the result of European Commission’s efforts to create a unified market for the streaming services. Portability of digital content has always been debatable and with the passage of this law it is quite possible that it might add a degree of clarity.
According to Reuters, subscribers who have paid for the services like the Sky TV Now, 1MaxDome TV and ProSiebenSat will still be able to view the same temporarily when they are roaming in European Union. The Temporarily clause leaves a lot of possibilities open but Netflix is yet to define how they would cap this temporary clause.
In all likelihood the proposal might be enforced in 2017 thus allowing European Netflix and Amazon users to access the geographically restricted content when they are in other EU countries. As of now Netflix is available across Europe but every country is given access to customized content, this is due to two reasons, for some of the shows Netflix wont have the legal rights to stream it in that particular country and the other is that Netflix wants to tweak the content to a certain extent so that it suits the consumption patterns of the region in question.
Netflix in India is a good example of how most of the content has been flushed down as opposed to the US catalogue which features almost all the TV shows and movies. The roaming rules by the European Commission will not affect people out of Europe but it definitely sets a precedence on whether the roaming subscribers should be allowed to access their content. This rule will also effect other streaming services like the Amazon.