So, are you you a streamer with dreams as big as the universe? Are you ready to conquer the streaming cosmos? First, you need to understand geo-blocking.
People with a global taste in streaming may encounter geo-blocking when accessing shows from other countries. So, as a worldwide streamer yourself, you need to know why geo-blocking exists. You may want to bypass geo-blocking sometimes to watch your favorite fellow streamers. However, geo-blocking can also directly affect your career.
In this Article:
For example, suppose your broadcast platform or website is blocked in a specific country. You may miss out on a chunk of followers or even become embroiled in a maze of licensing fees or even copyright laws.
This article will explain the issues you must address to take on the global streaming market. Then, we will give compelling reasons why a serious streamer can only do it with a reliable VPN. If your favorite part of being a streamer is connecting with audiences worldwide, you need to pay attention to the benefits of a VPN early in your career.
What Is Geo-Blocking?
Most premier online streaming platforms have region-locked content. It is not because they are mean. It is simply a way to help them stay within their licensing and copyright restrictions.
For example, say some US travelers visit India. They might want to watch a favorite TV show from back home. But when they log in, they will be confronted by an entirely unfamiliar menu with loads of local shows and only a few of their US favorites.
Regional streaming libraries are vastly different from each other. For example, American Netflix subscribers usually have access to over 5000 titles. But If they visit India, their Netflix English title library will shrink and be replaced by thousands of Hindi and other titles.
This is because streaming services do not own the rights to broadcast titles in every country. A streaming platform usually buys the rights to stream a specific TV show in select countries. If it were to broadcast shows it does not own the license for, it would get into trouble.
Other types of sites also practice geo-blocking:
- Some online stores restrict sales to certain regions because their infrastructure only extends to nearby deliveries.
- Countries like China block specific international platforms and services like WhatsApp or Twitter/X. In the UAE, you can not even use services that could be considered essential, like WhatsApp, Skype, or FaceTime. To compete in China, you must look for an allowed broadcast platform.
- Some types of content may be banned or against the law in some locations. For example, some countries completely ban casino and adult websites. If you are streaming adult content, it may be a waste of time and money to make content targeting people in such countries.
How Does It Work?
It all comes down to your public internet protocol (IP) address. An IP address is a unique numerical label assigned to a device on a network, allowing it to be identified and communicated with. This address tells the website you’re connected to where it should send the requested information. Streaming services and other websites use the information about your location (which they get from your router) to determine what information they can show you.
Your IP address is determined by your router, not the device you use to browse the internet. The router holds information about your geographic location. For example, suppose you connect your phone to a hotel network during your holiday. In that case, it will have an IP address different from your phone to your home network.
How to Bypass Geo-Blocking?
VPNs can mask your IP address to make it seem like you’re logging in from another region or country. It routes your traffic through a server in another region to reflect that server’s location. It disguises your online footprint by replacing your original IP address (a critical factor in geo-location) with a region-specific IP address. This tricks other platforms into believing you are in a ‘permitted’ location.
Simply connect to a VPN server from another region to bypass geo-blocking. You can use a VPN for US servers to watch a US Netflix show while being abroad.
Unlock New Horizons: Get a VPN
You have to know what your competitors are up to. They may be doing things you never thought of or would never stoop to. But if you return to their sites too often, your competitors might get wind of your plans and block your IP address from their websites.
Either way, use a VPN to do some stealth competitor analysis. Change your IP address to the competitor’s home country to help you blend in. When analyzing your competitors, take the following aspects into account:
- Visit as a local. For example, pick a US server to check out US streamers. It will help you to identify tiny differences where a streamer operates multiple language channels. Do they use translations, different speeds, or a different background color for broadcasts in other languages or countries? Tiny differences can make a big impression.
- Read the comments on different channels to discover what makes some people a big hit in one country but not another.
- Put yourself in the shoes of your potential followers. Use your VPN to change your IP address and access your streaming platform from different parts of the world. Once you see the digital world as if you’re living in Antarctica, you might get some tips on making your content more accessible and user-friendly for potential followers.
- Do you live in a country with restrictions on what websites citizens are allowed to visit? A VPN will let you discover new shows you never realized existed.
- How popular is your type of show in other countries? Find out how many competitors you have. You may discover a niche market in a country you know and would be happy to work in.
Geo-Blocking Can Be Your Friend
For would-be global streamers, geo-blocking can look like a huge challenge. Fortunately, there is a way to make it work for you. It can help you develop richer content, stay ahead of trends, and make your content more accessible to people in other countries. It is as simple as changing your location or making it appear like you are logging in from an ‘allowed’ location using smart tech tools. If you follow these tips and tricks, you will be well on your way to achieving streaming success on a global scale.
OneStream Live is a cloud-based live streaming solution to create, schedule, and multistream professional-looking live streams across 45+ social media platforms and the web simultaneously. For content-related queries and feedback, write to us at [email protected]. You’re also welcome to Write for Us!