Over a quarter of Netflix subscribers in the UK share passwords

It’s estimated more than four million accounts share passwords between households

More than a quarter of Netflix subscribers in the UK share passwords between friends and family, according to research.

As reported by research firm Digital i (via the Guardian), it’s estimated at least 27 per cent of Netflix’s 14.9million subscribers in the UK, over four million accounts, share their accounts with other households. It’s believed the real figure, however, could be higher.

Ali Vahdati, Digital i chief executive, said: “Our estimates came from analysing account activity, and we corroborated this with various other sources. That said, we still believe our results to slightly underestimate the [actual] incidence of password sharing.”

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The research also found that a “minimum” of 17million subscribers share passwords across Netflix’s five biggest markets in Europe – the UK, Germany, Spain, France and Italy. The country with the most password sharing is Spain at 47% of subscribers, followed by Germany (42%), France (35%), Italy (33%) and lastly, the UK.

'Heartstopper' still
‘Heartstopper’. CREDIT: Netflix

According to the study, password sharing is most common in the UK among 18-to-24-year-olds, with at least 29 per cent sharing accounts.

Earlier this month, Netflix said over a 100million households subscribed to the service were sharing passwords with others. In a statement from Netflix’s chief executive Reed Hastings, the company is said to be “working on how to monetise sharing”.

“You know, we’ve been thinking about that for a couple years,” Hastings said. “But you know, when we were growing fast, it wasn’t the high priority to work on. And now we’re working super hard on it.

“Remember, these are over 100million households that already are choosing to view Netflix. They love the service. We’ve just gotta get paid in some degree for them.”

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This crackdown on password sharing comes after the streaming giant revealed a drop in subscribers for the first time in 10 years, losing 200,000 in its recent quarter. The service is also expected to introduce advertising for less expensive subscription plans.

Last month, Netflix trialled a new feature in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru which would charge people for sharing accounts outside their household. During the test, subscribers could add sub accounts for up to two people they don’t live with at a set price.

In January, Netflix increased its subscription prices for users in the US, as the company faces increased competition from the likes of Disney+, HBO Max and Apple TV+.

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