Netflix subscriptions rise as password-sharing crackdown takes effect

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Netflix sign in page displayed on a laptop sscreen and Netflix logo displayed on a phone screen are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on January 2, 2023.
Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images

The Netflix crackdown on password sharing is in its early days in the U.S., but it appears to be having the effect the streamer was looking for – a boost to its subscriber base.

Since alerting its members in late May of its new password sharing policy, Netflix had its four single largest days of signing up U.S. customers since data provider Antenna began tracking the service. In that time, Netflix has seen nearly 100,000 daily signups on two of the days, according to the report from Antenna.

On May 23, Netflix began sending out emails to members that it was changing its sharing guidelines, namely that accounts were only to be shared within the same household.

“Your Netflix account is for you and the people you live with — your household,” the company said in an email that has been sent to members since then.

As part of the new policy, members have two options for the people using their passwords outside of their household. Either transfer the profile to the person outside of their household so the person can begin a new membership that they pay for on their own, or the member pays an extra fee of $7.99 a month per person outside of their household.

Since the email began rolling out, average daily signups to Netflix reached 73,000, a 102% increase from the prior 60-day average, which surpassed the spike in sign-ups during the initial lockdowns of the pandemic, according to Antenna.

Read more: Netflix’s expected password-sharing crackdown puts college students on edge

Streaming services like Netflix had experienced a big increase in subscribers in the early days of the pandemic when consumers were home during lockdowns. However that subscriber growth trailed off in the following years.

In 2022, Netflix began to see subscriber growth stagnate, and, like other media companies, it began homing in on ways to make boost revenue. In addition to cracking down on password sharing, Netflix also introduced a cheaper, ad-supported tier.

While Netflix’s stock took a hit after reporting its first subscriber loss in a decade last year, it has been rebounding since then with the introduction of password-sharing guidelines and ad-supported streaming. Its stock hit a 52-week high on Friday, and is up more than 40% year-to-date.

The company has said that more than 100 million households share accounts — about 43% of its global user base — affecting its ability to invest in new content.

Netflix began rolling out password-sharing guidance in international markets earlier this year. It had delayed its crackdown on password sharing in the U.S. from the first quarter to the second quarter.

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