Netflix Malaysia – Should You Subscribe?
Netflix Malaysia is now available! Say wuuuuuut?!
Yes, Netflix is now available in Malaysia starting from RM33 to RM51 per month. This news came as a surprise to me a few days ago when someone mentioned it in the comment section at my post about How To Watch Netflix in Malaysia. That was when Netflix was still restricted in Malaysia and you need to bypass it with a DNS/VPN.
There’s another unpleasant news for current Netflix US subscribers (like myself) as well, which I will mention below so keep reading.
It’s quite exciting, isn’t it? That Netflix is finally available in Malaysia. This would mean, it would compete with iFlix. I should write a comparison review soon.
So, the question now, should you subscribe to Netflix Malaysia now that it’s available in Malaysia?
The answer is Yes and No.
The answer is YES.
First, if you don’t know what Netflix is all about, read my previous lengthy post on Netflix US.
NETFLIX MALAYSIA – SHOULD YOU SUBSCRIBE?
1 – LIMITED SELECTION
Here’s a full screenshot of the New Arrivals section from Netflix Malaysia.
Netflix Malaysia is still new and had just expanded its service to Malaysia a few days ago. Obviously, their selection is still limited. Personally, most of the current selection are not my cup of tea, especially TV Shows. They don’t have some shows that I like available in US region. For example, The Vampire Diaries, Friends, American Horror Story, Malcolm in the Middle, Big Bang Theory etc.
Maybe they will add more soon.
However, there’s also a factor of broadcasting/streaming rights. So, some shows are only available for a certain region. For example, if a show is exclusive to the US viewers, it won’t be available to other viewers like Malaysia. But if a show can be shown elsewhere but US, then it’s the same concept. You get the idea.
2 – PRICE IS SLIGHTLY CHEAPER
Netflix Malaysia starts at RM33 for the basic package. That means only one person can view at a time and HD is NOT available. So you can only view in SD. This is okay if you’re only viewing on a smaller screen like your phone or tablet, but definitely not okay for big screen TV.
The most popular choice is the RM42 package which includes HD and 2 screens at the same time. If you have a small family, then two people can watch at the same time (you can make two separate accounts) using one email. Here’s the unpleasant news I mentioned above – Netflix US has decided to fricken increase the price from $8.99 to $9.99 per month for Standard plan. Urgh! It’s been only a year since the last price hike back in late 2014, now it’s increased again.
For new US Netflix subscriber, you’ll immediately start with the new price. For those who has the old $8.99 price, you’ll continue to have that price for a year. For those who has the older price of $7.99 like me, then you’ll continue to have that price until May 2016. Then you’ll be slapped with the new price.
I think it’s just their trick to get everyone to subscribe to their $11.99 plan (with 4 screens and UltraHD feature). This would be ideal if you have a big family, fast connection and huge TVs to watch.
So, in a way, paying in Malaysian currency could be cheaper, especially if you take the fluctuating currency exchange and other charges into account. Right now I’m paying about RM38 per month (old price + charges) for the Standard Plan. Once my ‘price guarantee’ is over in May, I’ll be paying roughly around RM45-47 per month. Eeek.
But the good thing about Netflix is that, there’s no contract. You can stop/cancel anytime and they’ll still keep your ‘My List’ available for a year.
3 – EASE OF REGISTRATION
It’s very well known that some people have problems with the registration for the US Netflix, especially in the credit card area. It’s still problematic even if you use online payment service like Paypal or virtual credit card. So now I’m sure there shouldn’t be any problems with Malaysian credit card.
4 – NOT FULL NETFLIX EXPERIENCE COMPARED TO US
For other regions, they’re slightly toned down version from the US so you won’t get the full Netflix experience. Even the menu is different and ‘toned down’.
Here’s the menu in Netflix Malaysia
As you can see, there are only 11 categories. Now here’s how the menu looks like for Netflix US.
See the huge differences? There are about 20 categories for Netflix US. It would also mean US has more selection than Malaysia, including Gay & Lesbian… yes, sometimes they do have gay/lesbian movies and erotic movies. This brings to the last point:
I read that Netflix will not be censoring their movies and I thought, awesome! Kinda like iFlix who did mention that they will not be censoring movies. Then shortly before writing this post, I read another not-so-surprising yet irritating news from our wonderful minister:
You can read the news at The Malay Mail Online.
That means, there would still be some censorship? Not cool.
I’m sure some contents will be objectionable and I won’t be surprised if some people would soon insist on banning and blocking Netflix in Malaysia. Especially if they know the movie such as below is available 😉
Anyone remember how controversial ‘The Passion of the Christ‘ was when it was released? It was banned in Malaysia almost instantaneously. There are a lot of other controversial movies available in US and other regions so knowing Malaysia, I have a bad feeling that this will soon become an issue.
SHOULD YOU STILL USE VPN?
UPDATE Jan 13th 2016: In conjunction with the expansion of Netflix, Unblock-Us is currently running a promotion! First month for only $0.99 cent! Offer is valid until Jan 31st 2016.
Yes! Why? Because even if you registered in Malaysia, you can still access all other regions with VPN. The easiest way that I always recommend is by using Unblock-Us. It’s because I use it and it’s easy to change region. I’d only recommend the one I use, and since I haven’t tried other VPN apart from Unblock-US, Hola! and Hotspot Shield, I can’t review their service.
In this picture above, there’s a section with dropdown menu at the Unblock-US website that says ‘Netflix Region Picker‘. That’s where you can click to switch to other region easily. The dropdown menu will look like below:
And that’s why I recommend Unblock-US because it’s easy to change region.
So, if you’re thinking of subscribing, by just watching Netflix Malaysia alone is not worth it. Most shows aren’t recent, and for me, not the kind I like. A lot of good US shows are not available. Might as well subscribe to iFlix instead if the monthly fee is an issue as they’re cheaper.
However, it’s really worth if you use together with Unblock-US and planning to switch region. Netflix can be watched on many different devices, unlike iFlix. Remember though, watching Netflix requires heavy bandwidth usage, so be careful not to watch it on your 3G connection or you’ll be surprised when the bill arrives!
Also, don’t forget that until end of January 2016, you can get Unblock-US for 99 cent for the first month.
RECOMMENDED VPN TO WATCH NETFLIX & OTHERS (HULU/AMAZON PRIME etc.):
UPDATE: Remember to quickly grab their 99 cent promo!
RECOMMENDED READ: How to Watch Netflix in Malaysia
* This post may contain affiliate links where I get some commissions/compensations if you sign up for their service at no additional cost to you. I only recommend services I’ve used and trusted.