Netflix launched in South Africa on 6 January as part of a roll-out to 130 new countries.
The service is priced in US dollars, with Netflix’s plans and pricing for South Africa structured the same as they are in the United States.
There are no plans to change this anytime soon, said Netflix.
This means that not only will the cost of Netflix in South Africa fluctuate with the rand-dollar exchange rate, we also pay the US price for a smaller content library.
Subscribers who use unblocking services to access the US Netflix catalogue may therefore be discouraged from switching to the SA version of the service.
Netflix in rand
It is worth noting there is at least one platform listing rand prices for Netflix.
Technology journalist Nafisa Akabor discovered the rand prices through the Netflix iPad app.
These rand prices were higher than the converted dollar prices listed when the exchange rate was around R15.80/$, and remained higher after the rand sunk to R16.15/$.
Investigations revealed these prices only appeared on iOS devices while signed into a South African iTunes account.
On PlayStation, Android, and the Netflix website, only US pricing is shown. If you are signed into a US iTunes account, the iOS app also shows dollar prices.
This suggests that the pricing shown in the iOS Netflix app while signed into an SA iTunes account is an automatic conversion provided by Apple.
Netflix confirmed a lack of rand support when speaking to MyBroadband. “At this point we don’t have plans to price in local currency,” said Netflix.
The table below summarises the pricing and plans of Netflix in SA.
|Plan||Standard price||iOS price||Resolution||Screens|
|Premium||$11.99 (R194)||R199.99||HD / UHD||4|
|Exchange rate: R16.15/$|
Hat tip to Nafisa Akabor for her help with the iOS rand pricing.