Netflix Password Sharing Policy Leads to Rise in Account Sign-Ups

According to data from the research firm Antenna, Netflix averaged 73,000 sign-ups daily from May 23 to May 28

<p>NEIL HALL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock</p> Netflix

NEIL HALL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock


Netflix's controversial new password sharing policy may not be popular — but it does appear to be working.

On May 23, the streamer launched its paid password-sharing feature in the US. The new policy — which requires all account users to be in the same household and reside in the same location as the “primary account owner” — was created to boost subscriptions and curb password-sharing between users who don’t live together.

<p>Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Getty</p> Netflix sign in

Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Getty

Netflix sign in

According to data from the research firm Antenna, Netflix averaged 73,000 daily sign-ups from May 23 to May 28, marking a +102% increase from its previous 60-day average. Additionally, the streamer saw almost 100,000 daily sign-ups on both May 26 and May 27.

These figures surpassed even the sign-up spikes that Antenna saw during the early U.S. Covid-19 lockdowns in March and April 2020, when users were all inside and binging Tiger King.

During this period, Netflix had the four single largest days for U.S. user acquisition since the research company first began tracking the streamer back in 2019.

Cancellations also increased, but not to the same extent that subscriptions did.

Netflix rolled out its paid sharing feature in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain in February.

Netflix profiles
Netflix profiles

Related: The Best Netflix Original Movies to Stream Now

“We’ve always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account with features like profiles and multiple streams,” Netflix stated in a news release back in February. “While these have been hugely popular, they’ve also created confusion about when and how you can share Netflix. Today, over 100 million households are sharing accounts — impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films.”

This has created concern and confusion about how it could impact, for example, college students who live away from home, people who travel frequently or families with multiple homes. Subscribers now have the option to buy an “extra member,” priced at an additional $7.99 a month in the U.S., to cover users who don’t live with them but still wish to use that account.

A Netflix spokesperson also told Variety that they would begin blocking devices that are detected as being used by someone “outside the account-holder’s primary residence” after a “certain number” of days.

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“A Netflix account is meant to be shared by people who live together in one household,” the company’s help page reads. “People who are not in your household will need to sign up for their own account to watch Netflix.”

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