There is a lot of talk about account sharing including legal and ethical questions about it. Account sharing is where a group of people share one account, for example, Netflix. So the real questions are how big is account sharing and what do executives think about it?
According to Digitalsmiths, a Tivo-owned research company, about 10.4% of Americans share accounts and do not pay for their own streaming service.
So what do executives of streaming services think of the practice of sharing accounts?
“It’s not that we’re unmindful of it, it just has no impact on the business,” HBO CEO Richard Plepler said. It is, in many ways, a “terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers,” he said, noting that it could potentially lead to more subscribers in the future.
Account sharing exists in a legal gray area. It depends on what the terms of service are for the service. Some services have been more aggressive about shutting down accounts that are shared between different users.
Most streaming services have a cap on number of streams or devices that can use the service at once in an effort to block excessive account sharing. However, others, such as HBO, see account sharing—to a certain extent—as a great marketing tool.
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