Netflix To Impose A Fee On Password Sharing, The Users Are Unhappy

credit: Squid Game (Episode 3)

Foreword: Monetary values in this article are rounded to the nearest whole numbers for easier computation. They may be slightly off from actual values.

During the pandemic, Netflix has been one of the staple apps on our mobile devices. Well, apart from work-from-home essentials like Zoom meetings, Google Meet, Gmail, Outlook, and whatever. The streaming app was embraced by a lot of people during the Covid lockdowns, probably because people did not have a lot to do inside their homes and were seeking entertainment or simply looking for something new to watch. It is through Netflix that we discovered some of the shows we loved for the past two years like Squid Game and Bird Box.

Surely, the pandemic propelled the app to popularity. It gained traction in 2019, and it gained more in 2020. Netflix, indeed, is a great way to watch shows and for families and friends to bond. So, it does not come as a surprise that people would share Netflix passports with their peers so that they would have the same access to the platform without spending too much. After all, whether or not they pay for the service, they would get the same shows to pick from if they pay for it or share from someone.

However, reports recently indicated that the said video-streaming giant had begun doubling down on password sharers. In a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, the app is set to abolish free password sharing and intends to set up a price to be able to do so. But what is password sharing, and why does Netflix have negative sentiments about it?

Netflix password sharing: how it works

Allow me to explain this activity through a story example. If this type of explanation isn’t your type, you are always welcome to check out Netflix’s help desk here.

Imagine you’re the dad in a family of, let’s say, four – two parents and two children. Now, we all know you can watch Netflix on your TV as well, and your family likes the idea of watching Netflix on TV. It has also been a great family time for you four.

Now, they wanted their own Netflix account too, so they could watch movies on their own, anytime and anywhere. After all, you can also access Netflix on your phone. However, it would cost them money.

You tell them, “Don’t worry. You can use my account.” So you gave them your Netflix account’s password, and after a few verification steps, voilà! They can now watch Netflix as well but at their own expense. But you do not mind, they’re your family anyway.

Giving them your Netflix account saved your family from further expenses to an online streaming service. Instead of four people paying like 15 bucks a month each, only one person would take money out of their pocket. Instead of your family spending 60 dollars a month for Netflix, you only spend 16, and the difference between 60 dollars and 15 dollars can be huge.

 

credit: Bird Box (2018)

 

Password sharing is detrimental to Netflix, so they are cracking down on it.

However, you saving that amount of money makes Netflix lose instead. If you save 45 dollars, they lose 45 dollars. Now, multiply those 45 dollars by all families (of four, probably) that practice password sharing to a premium account from someone in their family. The loss is so significant. There’s no wonder Netflix wants to end this practice now.

Now, completely banning this type of activity will undoubtedly, face a lot of backlash from their loyal customers. There’s also this risk of them abandoning the platform completely by canceling their subscriptions for good.

To prevent this from happening, and also, to help them with the losses they would incur from password sharing, Netflix decided to charge an additional $3 a month to those users to keep their password-sharing privileges.

This move could generate Netflix an additional $721 million in revenues. How would it sit well with the viewers, then?

A Twitter user with the tag @molopolo300 tweeted, “And I’ll be ending my membership in early 2023 🤷🏻‍♂️” This statement was founded on the fact that Netflix’s move of additional charges would take place in the early months of the next year.

An interviewee in The Wall Street Journal said, “I’m waiting to see how rigorously they do that and if it becomes an issue for me, I’ll just drop it

 

How about you? What do you think about the response of Netflix on password sharing?

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