South Africa has among the cheapest streaming and online entertainment prices in the world

South Africans pay relatively low fees for online entertainment services compared to major countries around the world, an analysis by Picodi has shown.

The discount coupon website recently compared the subscription prices of dominant subscription-based services across various categories in 60 countries.

It also weighed these fees against the average wages earned by residents in each country based on official data from governments or reputed local institutions.

Picodi included five subscriptions for its analysis — Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify, Scribd, and Microsoft Game Pass.

It found that subscription service prices varied greatly from one country to the next.

For example, in the case of Netflix, there was a five-fold difference between the cheapest and most expensive countries.

In South Africa, the prices for the analysed services were as follows:

  • Netflix Standard — R159.00
  • Amazon Prime Video — R79.00
  • Spotify — R59.99
  • Scribd — $9.99 (R180.29)
  • Microsoft Game Pass — R79.00

That comes to R557.28 per month, or about $30.88 using the rand-dollar exchange rate at the time of the analysis.

Considering purely the total price, South Africa was the 10th cheapest out of the 60 countries compared.

Paying for all the subscriptions in the bundle would cost roughly 2.8% of the average monthly wage of R20,089.

With that ratio, South Africa also placed high in terms of affordability — 20th out of 60 countries.

It should be noted that the dollar price of Scribd likely weighed heavily on this comparison, given the rand’s weakness against the dollar.

The fact that Scribd does not adjust its price for local purchasing power is clearly illustrated when comparing its cost to that of Netflix.

Scribd is $5.50 less than Netflix Standard in the United States. However, a Netflix Standard subscription in South Africa is R159 per month, whereas Scribd would cost R180.29, excluding the bank’s currency conversion fee.

The infographic below shows the total bundle prices and costs compared to the average wage in the compared countries.

Overall, Picodi found residents of Switzerland paid the highest total fee for all the services, coming in at $64.21 (or around R1,172).

However, this number represented just 1.2% of the country’s average wage. Considering average income, Switzerland’s bundle comes out third most affordable of the countries compared.

The United Arab Emirates was the most affordable relative to the average wage in the country, with its bundle cost of $33.94 accounting for 0.89% of the average income.

Australians enjoyed the second-best prices compared to income, with their total fee of $40.15 at 1.19% of the average wage in the Land Down Under.

While many South Africans might be envious of these differences, it’s worthwhile to note the countries at the bottom of the rankings were much worse off.

Nigerians, Pakistanis, and Indonesians faced bundle-to-wage ratios of 22.22%, 19.49% and 16.24%, respectively.

Picodi also provided a breakdown of the cheapest countries for the four services that offer localised pricing.

Notably, Turkey was the cheapest for three out of the four services. Pakistan only edged it out on Netflix pricing.

Cheapest prices for online subscription services
Netflix Prime Video Spotify Microsoft Game Pass
Pakistan ($3.59) Turkey ($0.43) Turkey ($0.97) Turkey ($1.62)
Turkey ($3.77) Egypt ($1.48) Pakistan ($1.34) United Arab Emirates ($1.90)
Argentina ($5.35) Hungary ($2.07) India ($1.45) Philippines ($2.02)

Now read: Big price hike for Apple TV+ and Apple Music in South Africa

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South Africa has among the cheapest streaming and online entertainment prices in the world