Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
SALT LAKE CITY — Netflix is about to do something that might leave more than a few Utah subscribers a little flustered. The streaming giant will soon start cracking down on password sharing. But rising inflation has it taking a careful approach as it rethinks its subscription plan.
No more sharing passwords with your friends and family. The announcement came last week in a Netflix shareholder's meeting.
But almost immediately, something interesting happened: Netflix began bending over backwards to try and make sure their crack down did not make anybody too mad. In a blog, the company assured subscribers they would not lose their profile with their personalized histories and recommendations. Those can be ported to new accounts.
Account sharing will also be allowed between users in different households going forward if the account holder pays $2.99 more per month.
Why is Netflix working so hard to appease folks who have basically been stealing from them?
"The last thing the streaming services want to do is anger people," said Matt Schulz of LendingTree.
Data the personal lending website shared with the KSL Investigators found 38% of Americans share passwords for streaming services. But the kicker — 45% of those currently mooching said they would not use the service if they had to pay for it.
"Pretty interesting number and a pretty telling one," Schulz said. "I would think for those streaming services when they're trying to make these decisions."
Netflix is certainly not alone trying to find the balance between stopping people from getting their content for free and risking the ire of potential customers, especially as the streaming wars heat up. More and more streaming platforms are competing for their slice of a family's entertainment budget, which, thanks to inflation, is shrinking.
"With inflation rising, it really is important to prioritize what you spend money on," Schulz said.
LendingTree found about 40% of people have cancelled a streaming service in the past year.
Netflix said its password sharing crackdown will begin in early 2023.