Netflix 'completely satisfied' with password sharing crackdown — and throws shade at competitors

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Netflix subscribers the world over will know all about the password sharing crackdown designed to stop you splitting the cost of an account with friends and family who don’t live with you. As controversial as the move may have been, it sounds like Netflix is rather happy how things are going so far.

Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of Netflix talked about the move at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York (via Variety). According to Sarandos Netflix is “completely satisfied with the pace of it” — which could be understood in a bunch of different ways.

Currently the system in place means that people are only allowed to share an account if they live in the same place — with location data and IP addresses being used to enforce the rule. However, Netflix has offered a "paid sharing" option that lets you split an account between locations. You just have to pay an extra $8 a month for the privilege.

Sarandos notes that it wasn’t possible to introduce the measures to reduce password sharing all at once. Instead it had to be done on a country-by-country basis to adapt the new account requirements for individual markets. It’s possible that he’s simply talking about how Netflix is happy with the way it rolled out the restrictions and pushed account sharers to pay for separate accounts.

Then again, the Netflix CEO's comments could be construed as general satisfaction with the move and how subscribers have reacted. Netflix saw some pretty strong subscriber growth following a larger rollout of the password sharing crackdown, with 6 million new subscribers in Q2 2023. Q3 2023 saw another 8.8 million subscribers, with a similar amount forecast for Q4. Q2 and Q3 saw an increase in revenue from regions with the new account rules.

Disney Plus has also announced plans to crack down on account sharing in 2024. It’s unlikely that this would have happened if Netflix hadn’t had success at its own anti-password sharing endeavors. 

We should only expect this trend to continue, and no doubt other streaming services will be jumping on board. Don’t expect prices to go down either, especially since Netflix just hiked its own subscription fees.  

As Variety reports, though, Sarandos threw some shade at rival streamers. While  Netflix is adding content and “adjusting prices every little step of the way,” he said, “Our competitors seem to be reducing content and raising prices.”

For example, just yesterday Disney Plus announced its 2024 lineup, and some were upset not to see an Andor season 2 on the list. 

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.