It’s always fun to see how large companies change their homepage around the world. Not just language changes but what products they promote, or don’t; how stock photography changes; which partners they give additional prominence to. At this point, Netflix is a household name in much of the world, so let’s look at their site.
Netflix Canada vs Netflix USA
At first glance, these two pages look similar, maybe even identical. But as you get closer, you’ll notice that while the headlines are the same, the shows tiled in the background swap completely. This makes sense: if their content library changes from region to region, they don’t want to advertise shows they don’t have.
Netflix France vs Netflix Japan
With Japan, we finally see a change to the headline: rather than saying “and more”, they now say “and anime”. In France, we see the most prominent cookie banner we’ve seen so far right at the top.
Digging into the recognizable titles we see on the French home page’s background tiles, we see:
- Block island sound
- Money Heist
- Attack on Titan
- 6 Underground
- Stranger things
- Wonder Woman
- Ginny & Georgia
- The Flash
These are mostly titles that I’m familiar with in Canada. It will be interesting to see how this changes over time with the EU requiring streaming companies to invest more in local content.
Japan’s background tiles have fewer titles I recognize:
- Prison break
- Stranger Things
- ARASHI's Diary -Voyage-
- Dr. Stone
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Crash Landing on You
- Tokyo Ghoul
- Full House
It’s interesting how little overlap there is between the two countries, especially considering how much Netflix invests in original content (17.3 billion in 2020) which they have the rights to stream globally.
In the UK, we again see the larger style cookie banner and a selection of shows pretty familiar for viewers in North America. It looks like if you want to watch what Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were up to years ago you’ll need Netflix, while their new show The Grand Tour is an Amazon Prime exclusive. It’s interesting to see Top Gear streaming anywhere at all in the UK while BBC iPlayer shows much of their content.
What’s in a URL
The URL I ended up at after requesting
https://netflix.com/ changed depending on where I was in the world, with most regions redirecting me to a specific page:
- United Kingdom:
- United States:
For countries where English wasn’t the primary language, I ended up at
/<country-code>-en. This is Netflix respecting both which country you’re in, and what language your browser is requesting content in. If I request the Netflix home page from France, while setting my browser language to French, I’m instead redirected to
/fr/, and the text on the page is indeed in French <below>. It’s great to see a site leveraging both GeoIP and Browser Language Headers correctly – in some earlier research we learned that most sites simply ignore the browser language headers.
To view these sites, I used Microsoft Edge 90 and the Switcher on a Mac, selecting a proxy in each country and clearing my browser data between tests. If you're doing rapid testing Microsoft Edge makes clearing browser data really accessible.
Note: while WonderProxy was a great choice to test the homepage quickly from around the world, we’re a terrible choice if your goal is to watch foreign Netflix content. Using our service to violate Netflix’s Terms of Service is a violation of our Terms of Service, and our pricing model further discourages that kind of use.