Study Shows More Than Half of Netflix Subscribers Share Passwords

New research shows that over 50% of Netflix’s subscriber base shares their password with someone outside their home. That means if password sharing wasn’t permitted, Netflix would have at least a 50% increase in paying subscribers if those viewers had to pay for their own subscriptions rather than share. That means Netflix could be losing millions every month over password sharing.

Kill the Cable Bill surveyed more than 1000 Netflix subscribers and found that 527 of them admitted to sharing their password with a friend, or someone outside their home.

The results show 25.6 percent of people share passwords with a non-immediate family member, with 9.2 percent reporting they share with a child outside the household and 17.7 share passwords with a friend. That’s compared to the 47.5 percent of subscribers who say they don’t share with anyone else.

While password sharing is a violation of the terms of service for most streaming services, most also have multiple user profiles available and allow streaming on more than one screen at a time, so it’s no wonder people are taking advantage of sharing one account between users.

In a larger study that including other platforms, 44 million adults admitted to using a streaming service that they don’t pay for themselves. Of the platforms analyzed in the study, Disney+ was the streaming service most people said they weren’t paying for themselves, followed by Netflix. Which kind of makes sense, given that Disney tends to draw a younger demographic in the first place, making it more likely that kids and young adults are using a parent’s account. Disney+ demographic is made up of 64% Gen Z.

Although Netflix has warned it would take a more aggressive approach to password sharing, so far it’s been pretty lax about letting it go, which means it couldn’t be affecting the revenue too terribly. Sure, not all viewers using a shared account would subscribe to a service if they didn’t have free access, but some would. And while that’s a significant loss of income for the streaming companies, there are some customers that would drop a subscription if they couldn’t share it, so maybe it evens out.