Netflix certainly is the largest streaming service out there. The platform boasts over 200 million users which has been steadily increasing, especially since the pandemic. However, this very number now suggests that the platform will need to expand in other ways. Luring in new users is an arena completely explored and done for. Netflix will have to either turn to increasing their prices substantially or do something about password sharing. However, there’s a big chance that this approach might prove slightly too aggressive and actually work against them.
What do the numbers say?
According to eMarketer, the number of people who use Netflix is much bigger than their own statistics indicate. A whopping 658 million people watch something on the platform at least once a month. This number is expected to grow to three-quarters of a billion by 2025. Considering this, the 200 million that seemed so significant looks like a small number now.
These numbers also explain why Netflix is so ardent about reducing password sharing to a minimum. CEO Reed Hastings once spoke about how “password sharing is something you have to learn to live with.” He then talked about what he considers “legitimate password sharing”, which involves collective usage of a single account with one’s spouse, kids, and other family members they might reside with. However, this was back in 2016 and things have certainly changed now.
So, is there no stopping Netflix password sharing?
We have all heard the term “broke college student”. This phrase seems to resonate now as well since most of the password sharing happens between people of the 19-28 age group. This demographic is also very significant to Netflix as the younger population tends to be more adaptable. Sure, Netflix is the largest streaming service and offers more titles than any other platform. But viewers know that they certainly are paying just as much.
A standard Netflix plan costs $15 for a month while viewers can get Apple TV+ for one-third that price. Not to mention that critical acclaim and award shows have been inclined towards other streaming services, indicating growth for other platforms. After all, it doesn’t look like Netflix will have CODA or King Richard on their screens any time soon. Marvel movies, one of, if not the single biggest franchise out there, are also leaving the platform.
The best bet Netflix currently has against password sharing is their new plan. Viewers can add extra members to their accounts for a cost of $3. While this approach is working the best, it is a delicate balance indeed. The platform’s tendency to increase prices beyond just inflation will cause more damage than good.
If Netflix keeps things as is, we might expect growth, albeit a much slower one. However, a slightly more aggressive approach and the scales might tip in favor of other streaming platforms like Amazon Prime, Disney+, or Apple TV+.