Netflix Is Banning Account Sharing

Netflix is getting rid of account sharing by allowing users to transfer profiles to new accounts.

By James Brizuela | Published

Netflix is continuing its odd course of actions by banning account sharing, but attempting to put a positive spin on doing so. For those who have a profile on another account, the streaming company is allowing that profile to be transferred over to a new account, keeping the personalized recommendations and watch history intact for the person who controls said profile. While not allowing multiple people to use the same account in one household is sure to anger tons of people, it could be the company’s attempt to counter the loss of subscribers and profits.

Netflix appears to be pulling out all the stops in its attempt to stop what could be the biggest loss of the year for its earnings. The streaming giant is also set to release its new ad-supported tier on November 3rd, along with the quarterly earnings being released sometime later today. The loss of profits could be tied to the reports that more than 100 million subscribers are sharing accounts worldwide, and 30 million of that coming from the U.S. and Canada.

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Netflix initially reported its first-ever loss in subscribers back in April, stating that some 200,000 people had left the streamer behind. This was followed by a lawsuit that stated the streaming giant had lied about its earnings to investors. What followed was a massive cancellation of many shows, especially in the animated department.

The new Netflix ad-supported tier launches next month at a more affordable $6.99 per month price. However, this new tier will have a poorer 720p resolution and will be missing around 10% of the normal catalog because of licensing issues. With Netflix offering this clearly worse tier, along with stopping account sharing, the company could be facing steeper drops in subscribers by year’s end.

Oddly enough, thinking that account sharing is the biggest culprit of loss of profits is quite strange. One thing that Netflix hasn’t thought about doing is lowering its price for its standard subscription, which currently sits at $15.49 a month. Mostly every other streaming app has a price of $9.99 per month or lower. Sure, most of those have ads as well, but Netflix is far pricier than almost any other streamer.

Also, the Netflix ad-supported tier is going to make things far worse, after people realize they won’t be able to watch some of their favorite shows and movies. The streaming company also has been experimenting with adding a base fee for those users sharing an account that is not in the same household, though this experiment has not yet made its way to every country. All these odd moves could indicate that the streamer is in far more trouble than it is letting on, and the quarterly earnings report that is meant to be released today could further prove that.

Lowering the price for the premium and standard subscriptions might be one way that Netflix could bring back customers, and prevent account sharing from happening again. The reason that most people share accounts is the price per month that is expected from the once-great streamer.