The Multibillion-Dollar Streaming Giants Would Like You To Stop Sharing Your Passwords, Please

Back in March, Netflix began slowly rolling out a system to crack down on users sharing their passwords. While the streaming giant was initially fine with multiple logins to one account and considered it a “positive thing” that was part-and-parcel of normal household use, that viewpoint is quickly going to the wayside as Netflix and its competitors are reportedly becoming less comfortable with losing “several billion dollars a year” to password sharing.

According to a new report, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and others are grappling with the rapidly increasing costs of building their content libraries. (See: Amazon dropping $465 million on its new Lord of the Ring series and Netflix’s recent $469 million purchase of two Knives Out sequels.) However, cracking down on password sharing requires a delicate touch. Via the Associated Press:

It’s a tricky balance. The video companies have long offered legitimate ways for multiple people to use a service, by creating profiles or by offering tiers of service with different levels of screen sharing allowed. Stricter password sharing rules might spur more people to bite the bullet and pay full price for their own subscription. But a too-tough clampdown could also alienate users and drive them away.

Outside of the rising cost of content, the streaming services are also seeing a decline in subscriptions as the pandemic draws to an end. With audiences no longer trapped at home, the need for multiple streaming accounts lessens, which means each service has to work even harder to earn that monthly subscription from users who can now leave the house on top of having a variety of streaming channels to choose from.

(Via Associated Press)