We’ve outlined Netflix’s push against VPNs in multiple posts here at Best10VPN. The impact, beginning in January, has been tremendous. Netflix started out by blacklisting a ton of current VPN provider IP addresses making users who relied on their VPN providers to access Netflix powerless to do so.
For years, users have been using proxy services and VPNs to access Netflix disregarding geo-restrictions placed on the vast digital content libraries. We analyzed the impact of this block in our posts detailing stocks falling and the rise of torrenting, to VPN websites being completely gutted by Paypal–to even Australia deeming it perfectly legal. We’ve even covered how to access Netflix with a VPN despite their highly successful tirade against VPN use.
This last weekend there was a massive push against every VPN provider still clinging on to Netflix. Sure, some still work, but a vast majority of VPN providers have been blocked–leaving thousands of paying Netflix customers outraged; both those that are geo-restricted, and those that are not. If you’re using a VPN with Netflix, you most likely will encounter a Netflix proxy error.
This outrage has been funneled into a petition, that at the time of this writing, has gained over 38,041 signatures.
It’s understandable why people are upset. While Netflix is dependent on studios and networks for a large amount of its content, and thus HAS to protect its regional licensing agreements–it is also a business, and a business has to have happy customers. Many people simply have VPNs connected at all times, whether just to protect their home internet connection, or to protect their connection in a public Wi-Fi space. If someone wants to watch Netflix at Starbucks or on a plane, they are not putting themselves at risk if they want to watch Netflix.
While security is a huge concern here, it’s also just a hassle for a lot of users. Netflix simultaneously rolled out their expansion when they started putting up VPN blocks–and they do claim to want a future where content is the same everywhere, but for now, people in several countries are paying the same prices to have severely restricted libraries.
Netflix CEO Reed Hasting does not expect that Netflix subscriber numbers will be affected. But, will shifting stocks as well as this massive petition be enough to change the company’s stance on the issue?
I don’t think so. Netflix has gotten too deep into this now to pull back. If they did, it would show other companies that they have deals with that they aren’t taking them seriously. Right now, it seems like they are just hoping to annihilate any opposing VPN, while also hoping that their increasingly large viewer base will hold onto its own.
After all, while 38,000 signatures is a lot, it’s only a small dent in its 69.2 million customers (and growing). It would also almost encourage the use of VPNs with Netflix–causing a major paradigm shift in the TV licensing and regional content industry.