Study: US and UK Netflix Movie Libraries Are by Far the Worst Among Top Netflix Markets

By October 18, 2016 June 26th, 2017 11 Comments

At the end of last month, we ran an analysis on Netflix’s movie library in the US, showing that it only had about 12% of the movies on IMDb’s Top 250 list. We received a lot of feedback on the story, much of which included comments like “my country has even less.”

So we got to thinking if the US Netflix movie library only has about 12% of IMDb’s Top 250, how does that stack up with the rest of the world? Obviously, licensing varies by country, so it stands to reason that the findings could have been very different elsewhere.

With that in mind, we chose 9 other countries where Netflix is prominent and ran the same study for each of them using a search tool, cross-referencing libraries with IMDb’s Top 250 list. Here’s what it looks like when you compare across countries.


revised-netflix-graphA few key data points to highlight:

  • Even though the US library has rebounded slightly in the last month, it still has fewer quality movies than almost any other country at 13%.
  • UK has the worst Netflix movie library, only carrying 28 of the movies on IMDb’s Top 250 list.
  • Brazil had 85 out of 250 of IMDb’s top movies, or 34%. This is the highest of all countries we analyzed.
  • Canada’s library sits at 19.6% of IMDb’s Top 250, putting it where the US was two years ago.

It’s no wonder Netflix users were so angry about the big VPN block. Netflix is much more attractive if you can access all that awesome movie content from Brazil from anywhere else in the world. Of course, the VPN block isn’t perfect, and many VPN blockers have said they can skirt around it.

Want to see exactly which movies are available in the countries analyzed in this study? Check out the [giant] chart below.



Update: An earlier version of the study combined the libraries of Netherlands and Netherlands Antilles. The data has been reconfigured to extrapolate just Netherlands data and correct associated errors.

Chris Brantner

Author Chris Brantner

Chris Brantner follows the streaming video industry closely and has reported on it for years. He's also the editor in chief for Streaming Observer. Email him at [email protected] Disclosure: Streaming Observer is supported by readers. Articles may contain referral links. For more information, see the disclosure at the bottom of the page.

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Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • webpa says:

    This must refer to Netflix streaming content only. Every one of the 10 titles I check as “not available in US” are, in fact, available as DVD or BluRay disks.

  • Justin says:

    You should revise this one more time to do a comparison against the top 250 movies in each of those markets instead of just the global top 250…

  • Dave says:

    Of the list of top 250 movies, I’ve seen the ones I want to see. That’s much less interesting to me than availability of recent popular movies. In that category, Netflix fares much, much worse. The value of Netflix is entirely in its self-produced shows.

  • Robin Pasholk says:

    As a fan of older movies (and no, that does NOT mean “movies that have been out for 6 weeks already!”) I eschew Netflix in favor of buying what I want to watch on DVD from .

  • William says:

    Funny. Here in Brazil, I used to access the US library, mostly because of the number of titles. Also, the music catalog in the brazilian library is pure crap. Mostly brazilian stuff…

  • Joseph R says:

    I wonder how Netflix streaming stacks up against Amazon Prime streaming?

  • DurocShark says:

    And of course, there’s nothing like being in the middle of a TV series, and having it dropped.

  • MickG says:

    Who pays for Netflix because of the films anymore? It’s the TV series content that is so outstanding. The original Netflix series are mostly outstanding and far more prolific and accessible than HBO’s. The Emmy Awards are starting to roll in and I predict they will remain one of the top 2 or 3 networks in those categories. But they’re also grabbing some really popular series from other networks and created the whole “binge” craze.

    I think Netflix original content (films included) is where it’s at and will continue to be. Clearly that’s where they’d rather spend their money. Who really cares whether or not they have GodFather 3?…

  • Jonas Lind says:

    This is true. Netflix UK sucks. My guess is that Sky (Murdoch) has bought exclusive UK rights for quality film libraries just to prevent Netflix from undermining the Sky profit machine.

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