To say that Netflix has confused pretty much everyone with its promise to end password sharing would be a bit of an understatement. It’s started in a handful of countries, but with different rules. And we still don’t have details about how it’s going to work in the U.S.
But make no mistake: It’s still happening. Netflix in its first-quarter 2023 earnings release said: “We’re pleased with the most recent launches of paid sharing, and while we could have launched broadly in [the first quarter], we found opportunities to improve the experience for members.” It didn’t expand on what those opportunities for improvement were, but it did note that we should still expect a “broad launch” in the second quarter of the year — in other words, any time now, and no later than the end of June.
“We learn more with each rollout, and we’ve incorporated the latest learnings, which we think will lead to even better results,” the company said, and “we believe this will result in a better outcome for both our members and our business.”
Fair enough. But we still don’t really know how that’s going to work here. Netflix has previously said that more than 100 million households had been sharing accounts. In 2022, it started a trial program in which accounts could pay more — around $6 per month — to allow up to two other users to use the same account without having to actually live with the account holder. While many might consider that to be double-dipping, it at least gives a relatively inexpensive way to allow, say, a college student to still watch Netflix without having to pay for their own account.
So maybe that’s what we’ll see from Netflix in the next month or two. Or maybe we’ll get something entirely new, like a student discount tied to a university address.
But stay tuned. It’s coming.
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