Enjoy your sibling’s Netflix account while you can
A recent study claimed that 12% of adults share passwords to streaming subscriptions, such as Netflix and Hulu, including 21% of 18-24 year-olds.
In the case of Netflix, this could mean a loss of $400 million. At the moment, the streaming giant allows subscribers to share; depending on which level of service you pay for, two or more people can simultaneously watch shows from the same account.
CEO Reed Hastings said, “Password sharing is something you have to learn to live with, because there’s so much legitimate password sharing, like you sharing with your spouse, with your kids . . . . So there’s no bright line, and we’re doing fine as is.”
Experts predict this could change, however. Netflix’s revenue growth is expected to drop from 31% this year to 19% in 2018. Analyst Justin Patterson told Fortune, “If Netflix goes from a 30% revenue growth story to a 10% story, there is absolutely going to be more focus on their leaving money on the table.”
For now, the general consensus with streaming platforms appears to be that sharing is a way to promote their programming to potential customers. HBO Now, for example, is offered free to 100 U.S colleges, with the aim of slowing piracy and in the hope that young consumers will pay for the product once financially independent.
“We could crack down on password sharing, but you wouldn’t suddenly turn all those folks to paid users,” Netflix chief financial officer David Wells said at a Goldman Sachs conference last September.
There will be many hoping this attitude holds out until the next season of Stranger Things, returning this October.