Streaming Services in Costa Rica
Streaming services are so popular in Costa Rica that a 13% tax exists for monthly and annual subscriptions to them. Even with the latin america content, they are very wanted by Costa Ricans and normally they have more than only one of those services.
As a Central America country, in Costa Rica the streaming services are relatively new. The basic television is composed by like 20 local channels and some of them are not available for all national territory, there are some cable and satellite TV companies that provide selected content and most of them do have a good assortment of entertainment from the whole world. So streaming services really changed things for the ticos and the graphic material they consume.
Here’s a graphic provided by JustWatch of preferred streaming options in Costa Rica:
All the streaming platforms in Costa Rica have the latin american content. However, most of them can be paired with a VPN so you can access any other place’s content if that’s what you would like. There are more of them available in Costa Rica that we can see in the graphic but those are the most preferred by users.
As of 2021, Netflix was the favorite but things have changed from that point on with updates in conditions such as the fact that you can’t share your account because you have to pay extra and the other services having sales if the annual fee is paid. Another thing is that other streaming services are offering sports content and Netflix hasn’t explored that option that in latin america is very popular, soccer above all.
What all of them offer is a lot of options and you can choose what you really want to watch between the more family oriented content of Disney+ or the more mature content of HBO max.
Right now, the most expensive one is Star+ ($10,99 monthly or $13.99 with Disney+ bundle), followed by Netflix ($8.99 monthly), HBO max ($8.00 monthly), Disney+ and Amazon Prime ($5.99 monthly), Apple TV ($4.99 monthly) and Paramount+ ($4.50). All these prices are before the 13% tax we mentioned before. Even getting all of them would be cheaper than paying for cable or satellite TV a couple of years ago, when those were the only options.
During Covid-19 pandemic and the strong campaigns and efforts for people to stay at home, streaming services gained relevance against cable and satellite TV that was dominant in Costa Rican households. At this moment, some internet providers offer cable and satellite TV for free or for a low cost when the internet is installed. Obviously, you need a great internet connection to watch HD streaming content.
Costa Rica still has access to pirate platforms of content to stream but those aren’t secure and can cause issues with viruses in the devices and they are also full of ads that disturb the experience of entertainment. Cinemas are still selling out their tickets, our culture is not ready to let movies in the big screen go even if we have every cinematographic piece made in our phone.