Why Netflix Will Soon Crack Down in America, Too: 49% of U.S. Customers Share Their Password with Family and Friends Outside Their Home

(Image credit: Netflix)

Nearly half of U.S. Netflix subscribers share their username and password with friends and relatives living outside their home, according to a recent survey of 10,400 adults conducted by the Advertising Research Foundation. 

The finding frames a disclosure made by Netflix Thursday that it will begin charging users in Peru, Chile and Costa Rica and additional fee for each out-of-home constituent they share their Netflix account with. 

Netflix is describing the move as a "test." Members in the these countries will be allowed to add up to two "sub accounts," paying an additional fee. In Costa Rica, for example, users will pay an extra $2.99 if they want to add one or two out-of-home users to their account. 

"We’ve always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account, with features like separate profiles and multiple streams in our Standard and Premium plans," blogged Netflix Product Innovation Director Chengyi Long. "While these have been hugely popular, they have also created some confusion about when and how Netflix can be shared. As a result, accounts are being shared between households -- impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members."

According to the Advertising Research Foundation survey, Netflix is the most shared among the major U.S. SVOD services, with 36 of users reporting sharing of their accounts with out-of-home relatives and 13% saying they even share their account with friends. 

Disney Plus sharing was almost as bad, but not quite -- 32% of users said they shared with relatives and 13% said they shared with friends. For Amazon Prime Video, only 22% of U.S. users said they shared with relatives and 8% shared with friends.

"We’ll be working to understand the utility of these two features for members in these three countries before making changes anywhere else in the world," Long added.

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!