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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Opinion

Password sharing shouldn’t be regulated by Netflix


Password sharing shouldn't be regulated by Netflix

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Recently, Netflix announced it was going to crack down on password sharing. However, considering its drop in subscribers and falling reputation, the streaming service should reconsider this decision. 

It’s a well-known fact that a lot of people password share on their Netflix accounts. Couples will often share or families may share one account for everyone in one household, even if the kids move out. Sometimes friends will even share multiple streaming service accounts with each other, including Netflix. 

Apparently, over 100 million households have a shared Netflix account.

Now, Netflix has announced its plans to charge extra fees for each password sharer on an account. It’s already started using this feature in Peru, Costa Rica and Chile. 

What is strange about this plan is that Netflix seems to forget people already do pay extra to share accounts. Users pay $9.99 a month for one screen and pay up to $19.99 for four screens to be watched at the same time. This is under the idea that people within one household could watch four screens at once. 

It’s completely unfair to charge even more for essentially the same thing. It doesn’t matter if people are using the same account within or outside the house. People already pay more for the additional use of Netflix.

This move is especially strange for Netflix considering the company has lost a lot of favor over the years. Some people dislike how sparse Netflix programming is now. It had a lot of beloved programs like ‘The Office’, ‘Friends’ and Disney movies leave to go to other platforms. 

A lot of people may not see the point in watching Netflix now unless they’re interested in the Netflix original shows. However, Netflix has a habit of canceling these original programs after only two seasons. It’s alienating a lot of users already.

The platform also has to compete with other streaming services like Disney+ and Hulu. 

People have only so much money and many are starting to use it on other services, considering the large drop in users since 2022 began. Netflix lost over 200,000 subscribers and now it may lose more if it makes password sharing more expensive. 

Almost 80 percent of people said they would not buy a subscription even if they couldn’t use someone else’s account anymore, according to a survey by Time2Play. It doesn’t sound like this anti-password sharing move will result in more subscribers for Netflix.

The decision will also probably hurt Netflix’s reputation a lot more. There are many streaming services now so people are having to choose where they will spend their money. They will likely choose the services that have the best options and don’t charge them extra for common things like password sharing.

Because it’s already losing favor with its user base, Netflix shouldn’t rock the boat anymore by making it harder and more expensive to share passwords. There are a ton of better streaming services now where people can easily take their money.

Anna Baker is an English senior who can be reached at [email protected]

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