Have you ever tried to access a website and stumbled upon an unexpected message highlighting that the content isn’t available in your area? If yes, you’ve encountered a geo-restriction.
Over 5 billion internet users exist globally, and most of them, if not all, have dealt with this issue. Not only do geo-blocks keep you from accessing entertainment content, but they also prohibit businesses from retrieving helpful competitor data.
What Is Geo-Restricted Content?
Geo-restrictions, also called geo-blocks, are a technology that restricts user access to specific platforms and services. Streaming sites and other platforms have several reasons to implement this technology (more on this below).
Essentially, it enables them to make their content available only in specific geographical locations. We can take tubi TV as an example. It is a free, demand, and paid video streaming app with over 40,000 films and TV series.
If you try to access its content outside the US, you’ll fail to do so. For instance, those on vacation in the EU will receive a message, “Not available in your region.”
Netflix US can be another example of geo-restricted content. Users outside the US will be redirected to the library that works for them. So, although they won’t get a message saying the content isn’t available, they won’t access the US-based content either.
Why Do Streaming Sites Implement this Technology?
The more netizens view a particular site, the higher the profit for the streaming sites. So, why would they implement the geo-blocked technology anyway? Here are a few reasons websites use the technology.
Content providers must purchase a license to stream content in a particular region. The more areas they buy the license for, the more it adds to their costs.
Therefore, streaming sites may buy licensing rights for specific countries – because buying for countries worldwide is almost impossible.
Note that the streaming sites, including BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and Hulu, do not have the rights to the available content. Instead, they have the right to stream it.
Therefore, the decision of streaming content worldwide relies on the original copyright holder – they get to determine the regions for broadcasting content. So, the streaming sites must respect copyright agreements, and geo-blocking helps them.
Oftentimes, the government employs geo-restriction technology for legal reasons. For example, the UK government uses geo-blocking technology to ensure their TV content is accessible only in the UK (with a few exceptions) because the taxpayer funds it.
Price discrimination displays different pricing depending on a user’s location.
Airline agencies and etailers implement geo-restrictions to divide the countries into several segments and drive a massive profit.
Reasons to Access Geo-Blocked Content
Geo-blocks aren’t necessarily bad. However, they are annoying because they get in the way of your online business and keep you from streaming your favorite content.
Here are a few reasons to access geo-restricted content.
Which strategies draw more customers to your competitors? How can you gain a competitive edge by introducing helpful business tactics?
A thorough competitor analysis answers your questions and helps you mold your business practices for good. Therefore, you’d need to access restricted competitor content to scrape valuable data and analyze it.
How do your competitors price their products?
Introducing a new item in the market isn’t a walk in the park. You need to determine various factors before pricing your goods. It will lead to more sales and higher profits.
What do consumers think about your brand? An insight into their experiences will help you improve your products and services. Unfortunately, geo-restrictions will limit your access to helpful data needed for brand monitoring.
Do you love streaming your favorite films on a Sunday evening, or are you a sports freak? Unfortunately, a few websites may compromise your fun hours by restricting content. So, entertainment is yet another reason anybody would want to access geo-blocked content.
Best Ways to Bypass Geo-Restrictions
While we cannot stop the sites from implementing geo-restrictions, we can access the content using the latest technology. Here’s how you can bypass blocked content immediately.
One way to access restricted content is to use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). While they help accomplish the task quickly, they might slow down the sites. VPNs typically encrypt the data before passing it to the exit node.
Therefore, a few people prefer proxies.
For example, a US proxy (a residential US proxy is by far the most accessible and potent location option worldwide) allows users to hide their IP address that belongs to a specific region. This keeps the websites from detecting your actual location, allowing you to view the desired content.
Many streaming sites employ geo-restrictions for legal reasons, copyright agreements, and more. They can, however, get in the way of entertainment, business growth, and sales.
Fortunately, a reliable VPN service or proxy helps bypass content and access websites regardless of your geographical location.