What started off as an attempt to find a free online source to stream Season 3 of Deep Space 9 led me to a price comparison of Netflix plans across the Caribbean. Join me, as I explore, question and discover! As I boldly go where no Man has gone before! (see what I did there?).
I am not a Trekkie. I am more of a Star Wars person. I am also not big on ‘series’. Series (TV shows) require investment in terms of time and commitment. Please don’t get me started on movies that spin off into TV series, and then another set of movies, but you have to watch the TV shows (or read books or play video games) to fill in the gap between movies. That being said, there are some TV shows that I’d watch and like to watch (Seinfeld, Star Trek TNG, Cheers, and BoJack Horseman for example).
Back to Trek. I’ve watched all Trek movies. I haven’t watched all of TNG (I plan to), I’ve barely watched any of TOS (I don’t plan to), and I’ve watched all of Picard. I heard about DS9 years ago, started watching and then stopped (the whole investment and commitment thing). However, an article I saw a few months ago re-kindled my interest in DS9. I started from scratch and watched Season 1 and finished S2 several days ago. Which meant I now needed Season 3.
Never mind my usual methods for obtaining and watching S1 and S2 (and other content). I was impatient and wanted to get cracking on S3. My usual source would have resulted in a long wait time. So, I started searching online sources, and discovered that all of DS9 was available to stream on Netflix (YAY!), albeit for a price (BUMMER).
I remember reading about Netflix’s free and ad-supported plans. I thought to myself, maybe it’s time for me to get an account. Alas, neither the free plan, nor the subsidized plan are available in Barbados. That search however led me to their Plans and Pricing – by Country – page. I looked at the prices for Basic, Standard and Premium (for Barbados) and wondered – as I previously did with prices for KFC Zinger sandwiches, and Little Caesar’s pizzas – how do Netflix Barbados prices compare with other Caribbean countries?
Which brings us to the table and chart below:
First things first, I need to define the word ‘Caribbean.’ As usual, and for my own purposes, I define the Caribbean as member or associate member states of CARICOM. Second, prices were checked between Feb 1 and 2 (2023).
With that out of the way, I quickly noticed three things:
1) Barbados prices do not end in 99 cents. Much has been written about the psychology of pricing, and prices that end in 99 or 95 cents (I was involved in pricing years ago as a Product Manager in the telco industry). While Barbados prices did end in ‘9’, these prices end in .59, .29 and .79 cents for Basic, Standard and Premium plans respectively. However, if we look at the prices for the rest of the Caribbean, they all end in .99 cents. Why? Mind you, I limited my price exploration to certain countries. As such, there may be other countries that do not end in .99 cents.
2) Let’s pretend that we have three distinct ‘blocks’ of prices (Chart 1). Barbados is by itself in Block A (Basic = $10.59, Standard = $15.29, Premium = $18.79). Block B consists of countries from Antigua and Barbuda to Turks and Caicos ($8.99, $12.99 and $15.99), and finally Block C consists of countries from Belize to Suriname ($7.99, $10.99 and $13.99). Why the difference? What are the factors behind this? Do input costs to stream vary, costs associated with regional content distribution? Does GDP per capita play a role in pricing? Is the 2% FXF (foreign exchange fee) that people in Barbados have to pay for any transactions involving FX (if so, why the difference between Block B and C countries)?
3) Using the pretend Block A, B and C distinctions, plan prices for Barbados are, on average, 17.6% higher than countries in Block B, and 35.3% higher than countries in Block C.
The Netflix plan prices above show that Barbados, relative to the rest of the Caribbean, appears to be more expensive (similar to the KFC and Little Caesar prices). The factors and reasons behind this may vary (for example, input costs in each country). And now, back to your regularly scheduled television program.
caribbeansignal.com is the personal blog of Amit Uttamchandani. The data and information presented here should not be treated as official or definitive, nor does the content on this site represent the views, beliefs, opinions, et cetera, of Amit’s employers or associates (past or present).