Streaming services want you to stop sharing your password with others
Disney+ has Netflix a little concerned
The streamers have to find the perfect balance. Sure, some offer tiers of service that encourage (or at least not discourage) sharing passwords. Getting tougher on password sharing might help some of the streaming firms bring in some extra revenue as those sharing a password decide to get their own subscription. On the other hand, getting too tough could turn away some users.
A few months ago, Netflix sent popups asking users to verify their accounts by tapping in a code sent via email or text. But Netflix did allow those verifying their account to do so later. CFRA’s Amobi said about Netflix, “They’ll be taking a very cautious approach to it. Handled the wrong way, there’s always a downside to a move like this.”
Netflix might not have been so concerned in the past about subscribers sharing their passwords. But now the world’s largest video streaming service is facing competition from Disney+, which has half the number of global subscribers that Netflix has racked up but in only two years. Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings said during a conference call last month, “We would never roll something out that feels like ‘turning the screws,’” Hastings said in an April call with analysts. “It’s got to feel like it makes sense to consumers that they understand.”
Josh Galassi, a 30 year old in Seattle who works in public relations says that everyone he knows shares passwords as does he. “One rule I have is I only share passwords with close friends or family members,” Galassi said. “Or somebody I know that has a service I don’t want to pay for, I’ll ask them if they’re willing to share in exchange for something that I pay for.”
CFRA’s Amobi explains exactly how the rise in production costs is putting pressure on top streamers to curtail the sharing of passwords. “Programming spend is doubling, or in some cases tripling and quadrupling, so you have to fund it somewhere. Most services are looking at losses for the next few years before they break even. So they can use every subscription that they can get.”
Besides trying to add more subscribers, some streamers are trying to raise their top line by hiking prices. Last October, Netflix rose its most popular pricing tier by $1 per month to $14 while this past March, Disney did the same thing by tacking on an additional $1 per month to $8.