Digital content subscribers who travel within the EU will be able to access their content like home from Sunday, 1st April. This includes both streaming and on-demand paid services, such as Netflix, Spotify and Amazon eBooks. This also covers on-demand and streaming content included in pay TV subscriptions, such as Sky Go.
Up until now, subscribers could only access content that is available in the country they are visiting. Such content was often of little use, particularly if the user can’t speak the local language.
New EU rules mean that online content providers must allow paying subscribers the same access to content as the subscriber’s home country, when travelling within the EU. Online content providers will base the subscriber’s home country as where the subscription was taken out or their payment details.
The new EU rules do not affect free content. For example, the BBC iPlayer will continue to be geoblocked to the UK, according to Which?. The same applies with other freely accessible geoblocked catch-up services and streaming content.
Unfortunately, the UK will only enjoy this benefit up until Brexit. After March 2019, the EU portability rules will no longer apply to UK subscribers. This will likely be the same issue for subscribers within the EU who visit the UK after Brexit.