A lot of Netflix consumers have reported receiving a message from the company on their screens saying they need their own account to continue watching Netflix if they do not live with the account owner. The company was getting information that more than 20% of its consumers were sharing their account passwords with friends to allow them to watch Netflix illegally. Realizing this practice cost Netflix a massive amount of money, Netflix support has decided to go tough on this habit of password sharing by its customers.
A spokesperson of Netflix confirmed sending such messages to customers when talking with the BBC. He added that the basic aim of the company behind sending these messages is to make sure that only authorized customers are using their accounts. The spokesperson also said that this message was not being sent to all the customers and a decision in this regard will be taken soon by the company.
The problem of password sharing stems from the fact that streaming companies allow customers to make multiple profiles within the same account. This is the case not just with Netflix but also Amazon Prime, Disney, and others. The only condition imposed by streaming companies is that the profiles and passwords should be used by members of the family living in the same household.
Greg Peters, a high official in Netflix said in 2019 that there was no way company could deny password sharing among family members. There was always some stuff that parents do not want their kids to watch, and there are instances where spouses make their own profiles to watch their favorite programs. If you ask Netflix tech support, they concede that the company is concerned with this practice of password sharing as it is resulting in loss of revenue for the company. According to a rough estimate, a crackdown on unauthorized users of Netflix could result in increased revenue of nearly 10% of the amount the company is generating right now.
There are more than 74 million domestic subscribers of Netflix and out of them more than a fifth are sharing passwords with people who are not authorized to use these accounts. However, cracking down on consumers sharing passwords with their friends can be a double edged sword for the company, caution analysts. These analysts say that with so many streaming services around, Netflix risks alienating subscribers if it tightens screws around customers who are indulging in this habit of password sharing. What this means is that Netflix may actually lose more venue than it generates by losing out on its subscribers. This is the reason why Netflix does not want to alienate its subscribers by issuing stern warning against the habit of password sharing.
Netflix technical support has worked hard during lockdowns imposed in various countries on account of Covid-19 pandemic and this hard work has paid rich dividends to the company. The company has added nearly 37 million subscribers in the last one year and the total subscriber number has crossed 200 million worldwide.