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Netflix hikes prices again in Spain – here are the best TV and streaming alternatives

Netflix again raised its prices in Spain on Monday to the consternation of its many subscribers. But while it's Spain's most popular entertainment platform, with its own offices and production branch in Spain, there are also a number of alternatives with a lot on offer.

Netflix hikes prices again in Spain - here are the best TV and streaming alternatives
Founder and CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings speaks during a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 27, 2017. Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP

Netflix has maintained the price of its basic subscription (which allows you to watch on one screen at the same time) at €7.99/month.

But its Standard plan (two screens) has gone up to €12.99 from €11.99 and its Premium plan (4 screens) from €15.99 to €17.99.

New subscribers will have to pay the updated monthly fees, while current subscribers will get an email warning them of the increase in the next few weeks.

Speaking to Spanish radio station Cadena SER, a spokesperson for the company said that the objective was to continue to offer high-quality content to its subscribers. “We are updating our prices to reflect the improvements in our series and movies catalogue as well as the quality of our service,” they said. “We offer a range of three plans so that people can choose the one that suits them best.”

As the creator of hugely successful Spanish shows such as La Casa de Papel (Money Heist), Las chicas del cable (Cable girls) or Élite, Netflix has attracted many loyal subscribers. But there are other options for those considering switching to a different platform.

These are the other main subscriptions platforms in the country and their prices:

Filmin – €7,99/month or €84/year

Filmin is Spain’s leading subscription platform for independent and arthouse films and TV shows.

Movistar+ Lite

Movistar, the major telecommunications provider owned by Telefónica, launched its own VOD platform in 2015. It has established itself as one of the country’s most important VOD platforms.

Amazon Prime Video – €5.99/month

Amazon Prime is the cheapest platform in the country at just €2.99 per month for the first six months – a 50 percent discount off the full price of €5.99 per month.

Disney + – €8.99/month or €89.90/year

Disney+ launched in Spain in March 2020 with a broad offering including Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and National Geographic.

Apple TV+ – €4.99/month

The platform currently offers a 3-month free trial after which it costs €4.99/month with shows like Mare of Easttown and The Morning Show.

HBO Max – €8.99/month or €69.99/year

The maker of “Game of Thrones” and the Harry Potter movies is launching HBO Max in Spain on October 26th, bringing together the entire Warner universe on one platform. The streaming service will replace HBO España which launched in Spain in 2016. Recent blockbusters like ‘Dune’ and ‘The Matrix: Resurrections’ will be available on the streaming platform after their run in cinemas.

Rakuten.tv – €6.99/month

Headquartered in Barcelona, this VOD streaming service includes content from Warner Bros, Disney and Sony Pictures as well as local distributors and independent labels. The monthly subscription offers access to its catalogue, but some of it is also available for free.

Starzplay – €4.99/month

Starzplay is a VOD platform run by American entertainment company Lionsgate, offering Hollywood films and TV shows and children’s programs. It arrived in Spain in 2019, and is also available via Canal+ subscriptions.

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LIFE IN SPAIN

Does Spain have a dog poo problem?

Many foreigners in Spain complain that the streets are full of dog faeces, but is that actually true and what, if anything, is being done to address it?

Does Spain have a dog poo problem?

Spain is a nation of dog lovers.

According to the country’s National Institute of Statistics (INE), 40 percent of Spanish households have a dog.

In fact, believe it or not, the Spanish have more dogs than they do children.

While there are a little over 6 million children under the age of 14 in Spain, there are over 7 million registered dogs in the country. 

But one bugbear of many foreigners in Spain is that there’s often a lot of dog mess in the streets, squares and parks.

The latest estimates suggest it’s as much as 675,000 tonnes of doodoo that has to be cleaned up every year in Spain.

Many dog owners in Spain carry around a bottle of water mixed with detergent or vinegar to clean up their dog’s urine and small plastic bags to pick up number twos.

And yet, many owners seem to either turn a blind eye to their pooches’ poo or somehow miss that their pets have just pooed, judging by the frequency with which dog sh*t smears Spanish pavements. 

So how true is it that Spain has a dog poo problem? Is there actually more dog mess in Spain than in other countries, and if not, why does it seem that way?

One contextual factor worth considering when understanding the quantity of caca in Spain’s calles is how Spaniards themselves actually live.

When one remembers that Spaniards mostly live in apartments without their own gardens, it becomes less surprising that it feels as though there’s a lot of dog mess in the streets. Whereas around 87 percent of households in Britain have a garden, the number in Spain is below 30 percent.

Simply put, a nation of dog lovers without gardens could mean more mess in the streets. 

Whereas Britons often just let their dogs out into their garden to do their business, or when they can’t be bothered to take them for a walk even, Spaniards have to take them out into the street, unless they’re okay with their pooches soiling their homes. 

There aren’t many dog-friendly beaches in Spain, and the fact that on those that do exist, some owners don’t clean up their dogs’ mess, doesn’t strengthen the case for more ‘playas para perros‘ to be added. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN / STR / AFP)

Doggy dirt left in the streets is most certainly not a Spain-specific problem either, but rather an urban one found around the world.

In recent years, there have been complaints about the sheer abundance of canine faecal matter left in public spaces in Paris, Naples, Rome, Jerusalem, Glasgow, Toronto, London, San Francisco and so on.

READ ALSO: Why do some Spanish homes have bottles of water outside their door?

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a worldwide study to shed light on which cities and countries have the biggest ‘poo-blem’, with the available investigations mainly centred on individual nations, such as this one by Protect my Paws in the US and UK

And while it may be more noticeable in Spain than in some countries, it doesn’t mean the Spanish are doing nothing about it.

In fact, Barcelona has been named the third best city in Europe for dealing with the problem, according to a study by pet brand Tails.com.

Although Barcelona’s score of 53/80 was significantly lower than many British cities (Newcastle scored 68/80 and Manchester 66/80, for example) its hefty fines of 1,500 for dog owners caught not cleaning up after their canine friends might be a reason. 

And some parts of Spain take it even more seriously than that.

In many Spanish regions doggy databases have been created to catch the culprits. Over 35 Spanish municipalities require dog owners to register their pets’ saliva or blood sample on a genetic database so they can be traced and fined, if necessary. 

In Madrid, you are twice as likely to come across someone walking a dog than with a baby’s stroller. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

This DNA trick started earlier in Spain than in many other countries; the town of Brunete outside of Madrid kicked off the trend in 2013 by mailing the ‘forgotten’ poo to neglectful owners’ addresses. Some municipalities have also hired detectives to catch wrongdoers.

So it’s not as if dog poo doesn’t bother Spaniards, with a 2021 survey by consumer watchdog OCU finding that it’s the type of dirt or litter found in the streets than bothers most people.

READ ALSO: Clean or dirty? How does your city rank on Spain’s cleanliness scale? 

It’s therefore not a part of Spanish culture not to clean up after dogs, but rather a combination of Spain’s propensity for outdoor and urban living, the sheer number of dogs, and of course the lack of civic duty on the part of a select few. Every country has them. 

On a final note, not all dog owners in Spain who don’t clean up after their pooches can be blamed for doing it deliberately, but it’s certainly true that looking at one’s phone rather than interacting with your dog, or walking with your dog off the leash (also illegal except for in designated areas) isn’t going to help you spot when your pooch has done its business.

Article by Conor Faulkner and Alex Dunham

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