Netflix is in the rare position of floundering a bit right now, financially speaking. And some of you freeloaders who poke fun at other people’s Netflix account passwords are partly to blame.
The problem here is that Netflix may have finally hit a ceiling on the rocket of a growth trajectory it’s been on for years. After more than a decade, the streamer is finally reporting a quarterly subscriber loss for the first time. And in the next quarter, he expects the exodus of subscribers to be even greater. That’s why Netflix is now telegraphing, to anyone who needs to hear this, that it’s ready to clamp down on cheaters.
Plus: the numbers on this matter are far more important than you might think.
How many people share Netflix accounts?
Netflix said in its latest quarterly letter to shareholders this week that in addition to its 222 million paid subscribers, “we estimate Netflix is shared with over 100 million additional households.” Including more than 30 million in the US-Canadian Netflix market.
That’s a staggering number of people who have been allowed to get away with streaming stranger things and Bridgerton for free, using someone else’s Netflix account, all this time. Meanwhile, data from a new study (via Time2Play) breaks down the numbers even further here.
- The average follower who shares their the password does so with 2.3 people living outside their household.
- 79% of those who use someone else the password say they won’t have their own account if Netflix ends the password share.
- 28.8% of Netflix watchers also report using illegal sources for some of their viewing.
What happens now?
Social media users, meanwhile, are having fun creating memes and viral posts that ridicule Netflix. Specifically, the posts suggest that cracking down on password sharing ignores even bigger issues.
From Netflix’s perspective, the company believes it’s fair to ask subscribers “to pay a little more to share the service outside of their homes,” Netflix Chief Product Officer Greg Peters said in an interview. video with JP Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth.
As an example, Peters mentioned a hypothetical subscriber sharing their Netflix account with a sibling in another state. The idea is to ask that person to pay a little extra to do it. “We’re trying to find a balanced approach here, a consumer-centric approach,” he said.
The important thing to know here is that Netflix has an eye on how to tackle freeloaders in a way that doesn’t exacerbate subscriber losses. But that also forces people in markets like the United States to pay what they owe.
“I think we’re going to spend about a year iterating and then rolling out all of that to get this solution launched globally, including in markets like the United States,” Peters said.
More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out our coverage of the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.