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Geo-blocking Wars: Streaming Services Vs. VPNsby@ip2location
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Geo-blocking Wars: Streaming Services Vs. VPNs

by IP2Location IP GelocationJanuary 17th, 2022
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Netflix, Hulu and Disney+ are fast replacing the traditional over-the-air or cable TV services. The downside of streaming services is that the providers will usually implement geo blocking to prevent customers from outside a certain region from accessing some contents. Streaming customers from the United States usually will get access the earliest for most contents. Providers are in violation of their license agreements if users outside of their licensed regions can access contents. Tech-savvy customers use proxy servers such as VPNs to work around the geo blocking limitation. By connecting to a VPN server in the U.S. users can access restricted contents.
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Streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ are fast replacing the traditional over-the-air or cable TV services. Customers prefer to subscribe to these due to the availability of on-demand content. In today’s world, everyone is busy with work, family, and life in general.


They don’t have time to sit around to wait for their favorite programs. They want to see it whenever they feel like it, hence the big uptake in streaming service subscriptions. However, the downside of streaming services is that the providers will usually implement geo-blocking to prevent customers from outside a certain region from accessing some content.

Why do streaming businesses implement geo-blocking?

There are many reasons why steaming service providers go to the effort to deploy geo-blocking. The main reason is licensing restrictions.


Movie studios like to dictate when and where specific content can be streamed. Any licensing deals with streaming providers include clauses such as which region can access certain contents as well as when. Streaming customers from the United States usually will get access the earliest for most content. Regions further away, such as Southeast Asian countries, may only get access months later.


Piracy concerns and pricing differential are important factors that influence such licensing decisions. Ultimately, it boils down to maximizing the return on investment. For example, customers from the United States are able to afford to pay more for their streaming privileges vs. other countries. Therefore, restricting early access to only the United States makes sense as streaming providers can earn more before relaxing geo-blocking restrictions later on.


In addition, the United States has better enforcement when it comes to digital piracy so there are fewer chances that bootleg copies of the contents will appear on the Internet.


After maybe 6 months to a year, content can be released into other markets at a lower price to appeal to people from lower-income countries.

How are customers circumventing geo-blocking?

Tech-savvy customers use proxy servers such as VPNs to work around the geo-blocking limitation. By connecting to a VPN server in the United States, users can access restricted content. Wish to watch the latest series or movies?


No problem! Just use a VPN server when subscribing and accessing a streaming service. Other users may choose to subscribe from a region with cheaper pricing. Again, VPNs can help mask the user’s location when subscribing.

Streaming services can now easily block such customers with IP2Proxy

Streaming service providers are in violation of their license agreements if users outside of their licensed regions can access the content. Therefore, they have to implement geo-blocking to protect themselves legally. They will incur losses as well whenever a customer can subscribe via a cheaper priced region.


Some of the proxy detection solution providers provide data about proxies such as VPNs and residential proxies. IP2Proxy is one of those. Using these data, streaming services can detect and block whenever users are utilizing proxies to gain an edge. The proxy detection database is updated daily; hence IP2Proxy provides faster detection of the latest proxies. This translates into fewer financial losses by preventing unscrupulous customers from consuming unauthorized content.

Conclusion

IP2Proxy data covers the major proxy providers which will enable streaming services to easily block most of the unauthorized customers. Detection of the notoriously elusive residential proxies is a huge advantage. The combination of geo-blocking and IP2Proxy proxy detection is a sure-fire way to prevent financial losses for the streaming service providers.