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Netflix password sharing hammer could drop gradually in 2023 – report

Netflix is reportedly considering several ways to roll out its crackdown on password sharing, while maintaining good will with consumers.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the fightback against the practice will commence in earnest next year, as the company seeks to ween 100 million people off accounts that other people are paying for.

The company is leaving untold millions in revenue on the table as it seeks to arrest a slow down in subscriber numbers since the pandemic highs.

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However, it is also conscious of squandering years of goodwill with consumers, over a previously laissez-faire attitude towards password sharing. As such the ‘pressure will be dialled up gradually’ according to the WSJ report.

“To mitigate consumer backlash, Netflix has discussed dialing up the pressure on password sharing gradually, according to people familiar with the situation. Some product executives warned against making the service too complex and not consumer friendly, a practice a few of them referred to internally as Comcastification, a dig at the cable giant, according to people familiar with the situation. Netflix has always billed itself as the alternative to cable providers that tethered viewers to cable boxes and contracts.”

Wall Street Journal

The streaming pioneer has also considered other strategies to discourage password sharing, by offering pay-per-view content within the app, akin to Amazon Prime and Apple TV. The company believed people would be less willing to share their passwords if their payment details were attached and family members could run up bills.

“Ultimately, the company decided against that tactic, in part because product executives were concerned it would take away from the simplicity of the service, the people said,” the report added.

Bottom line though: If you’re a Netflix password sharer or recipient, be prepared for the Netflix to up the ante in 2023. Netflix might be aided in the PR stakes, by the UK seemingly making password sharing a violation of copyright law.

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