As we well know, the streaming market has become increasingly competitive in recent years, following the arrival of the Netflix streaming platform.
Each of the services has taken its own approach in trying to stand out and bring new subscribers to their platform, both by getting exclusives and creating original products. In April 2022, “the former streaming behemoth” Netflix disclosed that around 100 million households were committed to sharing the same subscription via password and, in December, announced that the platform would seek to end the practice in 2023.
How did subscribers react to the streamer’s announcement?
Netflix revealed its new account sharing plan this week, prompting a wave of outrage from many customers. Twitter users, including some high-profile ones, are circulating a 2017 tweet posted by the streamer stating that “love is sharing a password“, calling out the platform for perceived hypocrisy. Below are some of the tweets:
In theory, the streamer would like to prevent users who don’t live in the same household from using the same Netflix account. The company hopes this will boost the number of subscribers, as those who previously shared an account will now have to create their own.
Netflix would have developed a plan to ensure that all users of an account belong to the same household, by providing for the verification of devices used regularly outside the home network. This will be done via a four-digit verification code sent to the main account owner, which must be entered into the device within 15 minutes.
It’s understandable that Netflix subscribers are upset by this change, especially if the company has jokingly advocated password sharing in the past.
The new policy will likely make it more difficult for some customers to access the streamer’s shows and movies, and it remains to be seen whether that will prompt them to buy their own subscription or abandon the streaming service entirely. As Netflix probably knows, there is a risk that, with the sheer number of streaming options now available, existing users will simply turn to another platform.
In a larger scheme, Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing is evidence of just how competitive the streaming field has become in recent years. While the streamer was once the go-to platform with little to no competition, especially in original streaming products, the addition of the platforms of Disney+, HBO Max, Apple TV+ and more has meant that all operators in the industry should get creative in how to attract and retain subscribers. As customers get used to the new password sharing policy, it will be interesting to see how Netflix’s plan affects its position in the streaming war.
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