When it comes to online content services, the home-market effect is clear: each month, almost half of online adults in the US are using Netflix and over 40% in Sweden are listening to music on Spotify.
While these services can’t claim such high figures in other markets, it’s clear that they are being used in all 34 countries tracked by GWI – and that’s despite them not being officially available in many of them.
In many of the places where these services are yet to enter the market, piracy can be a factor but our data shows that many internet users are turning to VPNs in order to gain access. In fact, it’s more than 20% of online adults in places like Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil and India who say they use VPNs in order to get better entertainment content.
So, while online providers such as Netflix and Spotify might attempt to geo-restrict their content, it’s clear that a significant number of internet users know how to gain access nonetheless.
Although this trend may worry rights holders, VPN users should not be seen as a threat per se. In fact, they are more likely than average to be paying for music or video streaming services and, at the very least, these figures demonstrate the possibilities that exist for services like Spotify and Netflix to expand into even more markets.