Research by Streamwijzer has shown that some Netflix viewers have access to a smaller range of titles than others. This depends on the language settings of the user’s profile. The difference is especially prevalent for series.
More than 6% (78 titles) of the series in the Dutch Netflix supply is currently not available for viewers with Dutch language settings compared to viewers with English language settings. It is likely that comparable numbers of titles are hidden for viewers with non-English language settings in other countries. A spokesperson of Netflix told Streamwijzer in response to the research that this is a choice for the benefit of the user’s experience.
Research by Streamwijzer about invisible films and series
In October 2019, Streamwijzer performed an extensive analysis with all data in the Dutch Netflix library. The outcomes indicated that not all available titles are available for all Netflix subscribers in the Netherlands. Netflix subscribers with their profile in English language settings have access to a larger selection of movies and series.
6% fewer series available
The Streamwijzer study was conducted on the entire Dutch database of films and series on Netflix. It showed that 78 out of the 1253 (at the time of the investigation) available series on Netflix cannot be seen when the account is set to Dutch language settings. That is slightly more than 6% of all series on the streaming service.
For example, Victorious, Sam & Cat and Angry Mom have not been added to the supply for viewers with Dutch language settings, but there are also series such as Avatar: The Last Airbender where several seasons are hidden. Streamwijzer has listed all invisible series for Netflix subscribers with a Dutch-language profile.
0.3% fewer movies available
The percentage of hidden content is much less prevalent for movies than for series. Out of all 2231 films on the Dutch Netflix, only 6 cannot be found by viewers with Dutch language settings. That amounts to approximately 0.3% of the total supply of movies.
Streamwijzer has listed all invisible movies for Netflix subscribers with Dutch language settings.
Conversely no hidden content for viewers with English language settings
Streamwijzer also carried out the analysis in reverse to investigate whether viewers with English language settings are missing part of the supply that viewers with Dutch language settings enjoy. This research showed that not a single movie or series was invisble for subscribers with English language settings.
The big tip for subscribers that master the English language speakers as a result of this research is therefore as follows: change your Netflix profile to English language settings via the button in the top right! This is likely to give you direct access to approximately 100 extra movies and series.
Supply depends on language settings and location
To understand the outcome of this research, it is important to know that there is a difference between language setting and location. The location of your Netflix account depends on where your device is located at a certain time. This cannot be adjusted within the Netflix interface.
However, the language settings of your Netflix account are a lot easier to adjust. This is, for example, the language used for all headings, buttons and texts within the Netflix environment. In a separate article, we explain step by step how you can change your Netflix language settings to get quick access to a larger selection of movies and series.
We also have an additional tip for adjusting the language settings. You can have different language settings per user profile within your account. Would you like to keep your account in your own language, but still have access to all extra movies and series? Go to the Netflix website and log on to your account, create a new profile with English language settings, call it “English”, and directly view all additional titles available via this profile!
Type of invisible films and series
A striking finding from the research is that the majority of the movies and series that are not available for Netflix subscribers with Dutch language settings can be divided into two genres: Asian & Kids.
It seems no coincidence that a majority of the invisible titles can be divided into two genres. This did make us wonder what the reason is that not all titles are visible for all Netflix subscribers.
Why aren’t all titles available for all Netflix viewers?
It seems logical that the reason for hidden content is the translation of the movie or series. As soon as a title is not available in the language of the profile (in terms of audio or subtitles), it will not be displayed in the Netflix library.
Since English is a language that is spoken significantly more globally than Dutch is, it seems to make sense that priority is given to translating foreign content into the former language. Therefore, the supply is more limited for Dutch speakers than for English speakers.
In this way, you can also explain why more series than movies are not available for Dutch-speaking viewers. It takes more effort to translate multiple episodes of a series than to do this for a movie of 2 hours on average.
Yet it remains unknown why the majority of the missing content falls into the Kids of Asian genre. A logical explanation following the above reasoning is that Netflix does have the broadcasting rights of these titles in the Netherlands, but does not expect that the costs for translation into Dutch outweigh the benefits for users with Dutch language settings.
Statement by Netflix spokesperson
A Netflix spokesperson informed Streamwijzer in response to this research that no Dutch subs or dubs are available for some English-language content. ‘The fact that these are not displayed to users with Dutch language settings has nothing to do with the rights, but this is purely because Netflix assumes that the content that you want to see if your account is set to Dutch is content with available Dutch subs and/or dubs. This is a choice in user experience and thus not to hide content. “
The fact that movies and series are invisible for users with Dutch language settings therefore appears to be a deliberate choice. Netflix says that it is not pleasant for many users to see a movie or series without Dutch voices or subtitles. “This applies, for example, to children watching Avatar (the age of Avatar is 6+). That is why movies and series with Dutch subtitles or Dutch voices are linked to a Dutch language profile.’
Hidden seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender
This research was conducted by Streamwijzer in response to the Netflix message below on social media. It made clear that one of the recently added series Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008) one season can be viewed by subscribers with Dutch language settings, compared to all three seasons for viewers with English language settings.
The Netflix spokesperson informed Streamwijzer that the Dutch translations for season 2 and 3 of Avatar will follow within a few weeks. Because this situation with Avatar: The Last Airbender and the outcomes of this research, Streamwijzer assumes that it is likely that several seasons of other series are also missing for subscribers with non-English language settings.
As such, it could be the case that more seasons of series suddenly become available when you set your account to English language settings. !