Netflix announced a surprise addition to the ever-growing list of contries served by the popular SVOD library. Indeed, launching in Cuba is surprising in more ways than one, since it doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense for the company. For starters, the Internet infrastructure in Cuba is not sufficient for the service, with just 0.05% of the Cuban people having access to broadband. The $7.99 per month that Netflix charges is roughly one third of the average monthly wage in the country. Paying for the service also requires access to international payment methods, which are largely unavailable in Cuba.
While many have been caught up praising our nation’s warmer ties with Cuba for making this possible, the move remains a bit of a head-scratcher for most. With so many roadblocks keeping a vast majority of the Cuba population from being able to use the service, their doens’t seem to be much for Netflix to gain by expanding into the communist island nation. Some suggest that the move is more of a political statement or PR stunt, while others have offered the theory that they want the service to be available to a possible influx of international tourists who may soon be able to visit Cuba thanks to improved relations with the US.