Password sharing is no big deal for Netflix yet

Stranger Things - Credit: Netflix
Stranger Things - Credit: Netflix /

Almost 15 percent of Netflix viewers are watching for free through password sharing, according to a new report.

Millions of people are watching Stranger Things, The Crown and all the other great Netflix originals for free, according to a new survey, and it doesn’t seem to be bothering very much.

According to a report from recode, almost 15 percent of Netflix viewers are using someone else’s Netflix account to stream their favorite shows and movies. That doesn’t seem like a big number (15 percent), but considering Netflix has almost 100 million subscribers in the US, that’s millions of people getting to watch shows and movies for free.

Recode cites a MoffettNathanson survey that found these figures.

With so many people sharing passwords, one would think Netflix would want to do something about it, right? Not necessarily. There’s really no reason for the streaming network to consider password sharing a big deal at this point.

Netflix is still very early in their quest to change the TV industry. While they already have, they have only been making their own shows and movies for a relatively short period of time, although they are cranking out shows and movies to the tune of billions every year. What matters to Netflix right now is eyeballs. They need people to see all their great content, and it doesn’t really matter if they are paying for it or not yet.

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Eventually, you’ll probably have to pay for the streaming service or get another streaming service, but that time is not now, and I don’t think it will be in the near future. The streaming service’s subscription remains an excellent deal for great shows and movies, and that’s not going to change anytime soon, although the space in the streaming industry might become a little more competitive.

So, when is password sharing going to become a problem for Netflix?

I think that’s an easy answer: when more people are canceling the streaming service than people signing up every quarter.

Currently, the streaming network is still adding subscribers. Subscriber growth has slowed a bit in the United States, but the streaming network is adding millions of subscribers every quarter around the world. As long as they keep adding subscribers, password sharers need not worry.

Now, when subscriber growth starts to dip, Netflix could easily put in limits to stop password-sharing. I could see that happening in the future, and for the less-technologically advanced customers, that could throw a few wrenches in their free streaming gears. And, the streaming network could do that now if they wanted to. I guarantee they have a good idea of who is password-sharing and who isn’t.

They just don’t care… yet.

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