On Netflix, Israelis Pay More Than Most and Get Less

The streaming services have recently raised prices for Israeli subscribers, but suffered no drop in popularity in the country

The Netflix booth at Europe's leading digital games fair Gamescom, in Cologne, Germany, August 21, 2019.
\ Wolfgang Rattay/ REUTERS

Israel is starring in a not-so-flattering role: the fourth most expensive nation providing Netflix services.

Israelis pay 12.5% more than average for Netflix services, according to the survey of 77 countries by Comparitech. It also ranks third for the standard program package, 19% above average. When measured according to price per title (a television program or movie), Israel came in 27th place, when weighing for all types of pricing plans – basic, standard and premium.

>> Read more: Sacha Baron Cohen, the Mossad and Netflix. What could possibly go wrong? ■ Why you should skip Netflix's 'The Family,' and see HBO's 'The Righteous Gemstones' instead

All the data in the research is based on the nominal price, and is not compared to buying power. When looking at cost effectiveness, Iran, Denmark, Finland, Egypt and Norway are the least cost-effective countries. In contrast, the most cost-effective countries are Colombia, India, Australia and Britain. When adjusting for buying power, Israel turns out to be relatively cheaper than many countries.

Netflix raised the prices for Israeli subscribers, the first time since it came to the country in January 2016. The basic plan rose from 29.90 shekels ($8.45) to 32.90 shekels; the standard plan jumped from 39.90 shekels to 46.90 shekels and the premium plan leapt from 49.90 shekels to 60.90 shekels, reflecting respective increases of 10%, 18% and 22%.

Despite the high costs, Netflix is popular in Israel. According to a survey by Artimedia in June, 54% of Israelis subscribe to cable or satellite services, followed by 29% with Netflix.

Although Israelis pay a relatively high price, they receive only a limited number of titles because of broadcasting rights that Netflix previously sold to HOT. Netflix in Israel offers 4,393 titles, 1,443 of them television series and the remainder movies. In Britain and the United States, the more expensive the subscription plan is, the higher the price per title is, which signals to users to buy the more basic plans. In Israel, the situation is the opposite – premium subscribers pay just 1/100th of a penny per title, whereas basic subscribers pay over two-tenths of a penny per title.