In the previous month, when news surfaced suggesting Netflix might crack down on password sharing worldwide, all hell broke loose. But worry not.
Netflix wants you to chill without you needing to snatch away access from your friends and family!
In March, a few users started encountering a new security measure that was able to block access to a Netflix account if it found you do not live in the same location as the actual account holder or payee.
This gave rise to wide-scale fears, further leading to a financial analyst asking Netflix executives about the security measure during an earnings call on Tuesday. In response, the company executives said that the streaming giant was merely conducting a routine check in order to keep strangers out of users’ accounts.
During the call, Reed Hastings, Co-CEO of Netflix, said that the company would test many things. However, it would never roll out anything that feels like ‘turning the screws’.
Furthermore, Hastings also added that a crackdown on password sharing would definitely put off way too many legitimate users who willingly share their Netflix accounts with close friends and family members. Thus, the company’s routine tests to stop strangers from getting access to accounts of real owners will remain highly targeted rather than pervasive.
The Netflix CEO mentioned that the feature must make sense for their users, and they must understand why it exists in the first place. And Greg Peters, the company’s Chief Product Officer, is doing a lot of research on trying several variants that harmonize with the way consumers feel about it.
Now that being said, Netflix is facing slow user growth. During the first quarter of 2021, the OTT leader only added 4 million paid subscribers compared to the 15 million it added a year ago.
In response to this, Netflix pointed out that the surge in paid users last year was very likely the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced people worldwide to stay indoors and increase their screen times.
Netflix executives also mentioned that due to the COVID-19, they had to stop production of several TV shows and movies, and for H1 2021 they have a lighter content slate. Thus it would explain the slower user growth in Q121.
All in all, while a strict crackdown and purging of freeloading users could potentially help Netflix a few more paid subscribers, the company executives said that the streaming giant prefers to work around the loophole.
Therefore, if you are someone who is not very keen on paying for your own Netflix subscription but still use someone else’s account to watch a few titles now and then, worry not. Netflix won’t shut you out. At least not for the foreseeable future.
We will keep you updated. Until then, stay tuned.