'No Deal' Brexit could see Brits face Spotify and Netflix ban abroad

Brits Spotify access abroad could be restricted in event of 'no deal' Brexit / Creative Commons Image

In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit Brits may not have the same access to their Netflix and Spotify accounts when travelling abroad.

According to new information revealed by Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, EU laws that prohibit firms from blocking access to websites based on a customer’s nationality or place of residence won’t apply if there’s no Brexit deal with the EU.

The EU digital single market rules, which came into effect this year, allow subscribers to access accounts such as Spotify, Netflix, Prime and Amazon Music anywhere in the EU as they would in the UK. But this won’t be the case if Britain leaves the union without a deal in place.

“In a ‘no deal’ scenario, the UK version of the Geo-Blocking Regulation will cease to have effect in UK law,” documents released by the government reveal.

In terms of Netflix, though content varies from country to country, within the EU it provides the same content as your home country for a certain period of time. For Spotify, you can use it in a different country from the one you are registered in for up to 14 days, after that you need to upgrade to a premium account or change your registered country.

According to Spotify’s financial results for Q1 2018, the streaming service has 170m monthly active users worldwide and 75m premium subscribers. Europe accounts for 40% of Spotify’s subscriber base, those without premium subscriptions receive ads based on age, gender and song choices.

Raab’s Brexit department has issues notices to try and help companies prepare themselves for a ‘no deal’ result. “Securing a good deal with our EU partners remains our top priority,” said Rabb.

“But, if the EU doesn’t match the ambition and pragmatism we’ve showed, we have the plans in place to avoid, mitigate or manage the risk of no deal - and make a success of Brexit.”

In addition to issues with subscription services, Brits have been warned the Eurostar might not run between Britain and other countries like France and the Netherlands; holidaymakers who book deals with EU firms that go bust might not get their money back; Brits purchasing faulty goods from EU companies may not be entitled to a refund and lights could go out in Northern Ireland and it would no longer be part of the Single Energy Market.

The Drum has reached out to Spotify for a comment.

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