Netflix appears to be enforcing limits on streaming accounts. The Wall Street Journal reported ** that Netflix has begun displaying on-screen notices when too many people are using accounts at one time. Social media has been abuzz with notes from consumers who are no longer able to log in to accounts that were shared to them.
Netflix reported a 15.8 million subscriber increase worldwide in Q1 2020, compared with an 8.6 million worldwide increase in Q4 of 2019, which Netflix attributed largely to the coronavirus pandemic. The increased vigilance toward account sharing appears to reflect Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ expectations that “while we had an increase in subscriber growth in March. … our guess is that subs will be light in Q3 and Q4 relative to prior years,”
Why it matters
Piracy Monitor takes the stance that credential sharing among friends and family that happens to exceed account limits is usually not an intentional act of piracy or rights infringement.
In fact, the Wall Street Journal’s reporting concludes with an anecdote that “‘the password she had from her husband’s brother’s girlfriend’s uncle stopped working—she suspects he changed it.’ The next day she and her husband purchased their own Netflix account.”
Between the increased focus on account sharing, and whatever churn comes from consumers attracted to new services that include Comcast’s Peacock, Warner’s HBO Max and the continuing worldwide rollout of Disney+, Netflix’ increased vigilance and enforcement of account limits stand to reason.
** Note: This article is behind the WSJ’s paywall