Netflix’s newly imposed crackdown on password sharing may not be the turnoff that many were expecting, if recent tallies are any indication.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Netflix may have actually reaped a “windfall” of new subscribers after lowering the boom on password sharing.
Citing data from analytics firm Antenna, the Journal reports that Netflix may have scooped up more new subscribers during a four-day period in late May than it did in any other four-day span since 2019, when Antenna first began its tracking.
Notably, the four-day period in question (May 23-25) took place just after Netflix announced its new account-sharing policy and pricing in the U.S. and other territories.
Netflix, which has estimated that more than 100 million households have shared their account passwords with others, lost subscribers for the first time in a decade in the first quarter of last year, but the streamer has been slowly adding to its subscriber tally again following that disastrous Q1 2022 report.
Of course, the figures from Antenna are just estimates, and only over a brief four-day period. For hard data, we’ll have to wait for Netflix to release its next quarterly earnings report, which is due in July.
But if Antenna’s data holds up, it could be a sign that a fair number of Netflix users who had been sharing someone else’s password have decided to go legit rather than ditching the service altogether.
Antenna’s findings also counter worrying reports (for Netflix, anyway) that the streamer lost a million users in Spain following the password-sharing crackdown.
Netflix announced in late May how much it would charge subscribers in the U.S. and other regions to share their accounts with those outside their households.
In the United States, you’ll need to cough up $7.99 a month per “extra member.”
The move followed more than two years of tests and pilot programs, with Netflix slowly but surely inching its way toward a broader password-sharing crackdown.
Netflix can detect whether you’re sharing someone else’s password using a combination of IP addresses, device IDs, and “account activity from devices signed to the Netflix account,” and it may also ask you to verify your device using a four-digit code sent to the account holder.
But while Netflix now offers an above-board way to share your account with someone outside your household, it hasn’t begun actively blocking Netflix password-sharing freeloaders–or at least, not yet.