Netflix is rolling out paid-password sharing and a low-cost ad-tier subscription, but is it still worth it?
When it comes to streaming platforms subscriber slowdown is not unique – from Netflix to Disney Plus, big streaming services have recently alerted subscribers about oncoming cheaper, ad-tier options alongside a crackdown password sharing.
But oh, how times have changed. In 2016, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings commended password sharing, calling it a “positive thing”, a sentiment echoed by HBO’s president Richard Plepler who called account sharing a “terrific marketing vehicle” that assisted in “building addicts” through product exposure. “We love people sharing Netflix. That’s a positive thing, not a negative thing,” Hastings Told Net, in 2016.
But in 2022, Netflix has suffered a loss of 200,000 subscribers, which has prompted the laying off of 150 employees. In order to maximise on current revenue, a recent earnings report revealed that approximately 100 million users are logged into shared accounts, receiving the platforms services for zilch.
The subsequent monetary damage control has been rather swift, with Netflix rolling out paid-password sharing 2 months ago in their lower revenue-raising regions: Costa Rica, Chile, and Peru.
Some subscribers immediately cancelled their subscriptions while others jumped on the horn to tech support, explaining that a member of their household were using their account from a remote location; tech-support reportedly responded by offering a verification code that bypassed the password sharing cost altogether.
Clarifying just when password sharing is ok, a Netflix spokesperson told Techcrunch, “while we started working on paid sharing over 18 months ago we have been clear for five years that, ‘a Netflix account is for people who live together in a single household’.
“The millions of members who are actively sharing an account in these countries have been notified by email, but given the importance of this change, we are ramping up in-product notifications more slowly.”
But with extra charges, less user freedom, and an ever increasing list of cancelled properties, from Steve Carell’s series Space Force, to the Michael B. Jordan-produced superhero program, Raising Dion; and with competing platforms like Disney Plus producing more original content than ever, can we still justify a subscription to Netflix? Up next check out our Netflix porn selection.