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Netflix squeeze on password sharing boosts sign-ups, data suggests

Netflix’s recent crackdown on password sharing appears to be paying off, according to data from research firm Antenna.

The streaming giant started informing U.S. customers last month that anyone living outside their household who had access to their account would need to be added as an extra user for $8 per month, or get their own subscription.

Since then, Netflix has seen the four single largest days of U.S. sign-ups since January 2019, when Antenna started gathering such data.

On May 26 and 27, just three days after Netflix began notifying U.S. customers of the changes regarding password sharing, the streaming service received almost 100,000 sign-ups on each of those two days.

Meanwhile, during the period from May 25 through May 28, daily sign-ups averaged 73,000, marking a 102% increase from the prior 60-day average.

This was more than the spike in subscriber sign-ups recorded during the initial U.S. COVID-19 lockdowns in March and April 2020 when people were staying in more and turning to streaming services to fill their time, Antenna said.

Netflix cancellations in the U.S. also increased during the May 25-28 period, though sign-ups were greater in number, Antenna said, adding that the ratio of sign-ups to cancellations since May 23 was up 25.6% compared to the previous 60-day period.

Netflix began its quest to convert freeloaders into paying customers in a trial in several Latin American countries last year before expanding it to other countries such as Canada, New Zealand, and Spain, and then to the U.S. last month.

It means that subscribers now have to fork out an extra $8 per month for each user who accesses their account from outside their household. The fee is cheaper than the basic ad-free plan, which costs $10 per month, but more expensive than Netflix’s ad-supported tier, which costs $7 per month.

If a user wants to set up their own personal Netflix account instead of using someone else’s, Netflix has made it easy to migrate their profile and preferences to the new account.

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