Streaming media from US accounts in Germany
June 20, 2018 11:08 AM   Subscribe

I'm moving to Germany from the US. I use several online services. Will I need to change them?

I use the following online services:
Google Drive
Google Play Music
Google Storage (paid)
ICloud Storage (paid)
Amazon Prime video*

SO uses Spotify

Here's my questions:
- Will I have to get Germany-specific accounts? Or can I continue using and paying for my US accounts?

- If so, is the content different? Will I be able to watch the current selection of US shows and movies on a German account? Will the same music be available via Google Play Music? Does Prime Germany's video selection differ from US?

- Can I continue using Google Storage and iCloud storage as-is? Or will I need to migrate my data to Germany-specific servers?

- Any other advice about switching from US to Germany accounts?

posted by Cat Pie Hurts to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
> Google Drive

You'll be fine. Server location is invisible to you. No action required.

> Google Play Music

Country availability for Google Play Services - Germany is supported. Content may be different.

> Google Storage (paid)

Different from Google Drive? Assuming this is consumer storage/gmail/drive, no change.

> iCloud Storage

This should work. You'll eventually need to update your billing & country settings as if everything isn't set to the same country strange things will happen and your credit card may get rejected.

> Netflix

is available in Germany, heck, it's available in 190 countries. there's a different selection of videos. You'll eventually need to update your billing address.

> Amazon Prime Video

Is apparently included with Amazon Prime in Germany but Prime accounts are country-specific so you'll need to get a new German Prime account I guess. The video selection will be different.

> Spotify

Spotify is available in a bunch of countries including Germany. Again, there's likely to be a slightly different catalog in each country.
posted by GuyZero at 11:21 AM on June 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm in the Caribbean, so perhaps Germany has different legal agreements but I have a collection of US accounts powered by a non-US credit-card.

Assuming you still have access to your US credit card:

- Google -- No idea-- but unlikely to be a problem.
- iCloud/iTunes -- No problem with US card, hoops to jump with Non-US Card
- Spotify -- No problem.
- Netflix -- Different content depending on geo-location, payment is no problem.
- Amazon Prime Video -- *Seriously* reduced content, payment not an issue.

If you're losing access to your US credit card, the only one that gets tricky is iCloud, as you need a US credit-card associated with it (even if you have an account balance from gift cards). So I just use a friends, but keep my account balance topped up with gift card's so they're never charged.
posted by Static Vagabond at 11:36 AM on June 20, 2018

Response by poster: I'll still have my US credit card.
Though, I do know that you can do carrier billing with iCloud.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 12:58 PM on June 20, 2018

Oh and for what it's worth-- if your fave show isn't streaming on Netflix in Germany, a VPN to a US location is enough to sate Netflix's geo-restrictions.
posted by Static Vagabond at 1:10 PM on June 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

My experience (I am however not a Prime customer, so it MAY be different for you) : you can continue using your Amazon Prime Video account as long as your digital content is associated with and not Amazon will definitely heavily encourage you to switch to German Amazon once you tell them you have moved, but there is no IP blocking or anything preventing you from continuing to access your Prime videos (at least not through the browser, if you are using any other devices YMMV). If, however, you decide to migrate your digital content to, you will lose access to the videos you have purchased and will be limited to what is available in the German Amazon Prime store. The main drawback of the German store is the dearth of English-language films and shows that are available with original sound, and NOT only the dubbed version! Keep an eye out for the abbreviation OmU (Originalton mit Untertiteln) in video names/language information (this also goes for cinema listings).

Spotify: After a while of accessing Spotify in Germany (I think two weeks), you will receive a notification that they have noticed this and you are required to change your country setting. In my experience there is not a HUGE difference in what is available between countries (apart from some German bands whose entire discography is on German Spotify and have one track available in the US version) - you may occasionally run into playlists where a few songs are no longer available, but it hasn't been a big problem for me.

If you have any more questions about the move, feel free to MeMail me - I moved here nearly two years ago and am happy to share my experiences.
posted by jeudi at 9:54 PM on June 20, 2018

- Any other advice about switching from US to Germany accounts?

Just be aware that Germany is really strict about pirating content (which is tempting when you can't find what you're looking for through iTunes, Amazon, etc). You can get fined 2,000 EUR for illegally downloading a movie. Here's a blog post about it.
posted by colfax at 8:35 AM on June 21, 2018

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