Sad, but we all did expect this to happen someday, didn't we? Netflix has always requested users to not share their account password with anyone, of course no one listened. Since everyone is a "jugaadu", some or the other way, they have been sharing their Netflix password with not just their family members but also friends and their friends and others who they probably haven't even met before.
This "jugaad" is coming to an end very soon. The streaming platform has already confirmed this. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently shared the platform, for the very first time in a decade lost 2 lakh subscribers. And for the same reason, the company's share prices also crashed to an all-time low.
The company blames the password sharing business for subscribers' dip. "Sharing likely helped fuel our growth by getting more people using and enjoying Netflix. And we've always tried to make sharing within a member's household easy, with features like profiles and multiple streams. While these have been very popular, they've created confusion about when and how Netflix can be shared with other households," Netflix noted in a letter to shareholders earlier this week.
Netflix has been working on cracking the password sharing business for a long time. Last month, the streaming platform announced that users in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru would need to pay extra for sharing accounts between households. It is believed that the same strategy could eventually be applied to every other market, including India.
In the days/months to come, Netflix will get aggressive at taking measures to regain users on the platform quickly. The company CEO has already hinted at bringing ads to the platform. After years of rejecting bringing ads to Netflix, Hastings during a recent earnings call revealed that the company is "quite open to offering even lower prices with advertising, as a consumer choice".
At the same earnings call, Hastings said he has always been "against the complexity of advertising" and is a "big fan of the simplicity of subscription." Despite everything, ads support is coming to Netflix very soon. Hastings now believes that an ad-supported tier "makes a lot of sense" for "consumers who would like to have a lower price and are advertising tolerant".
He also said that the company is currently looking into the option and "trying to figure out over the next year or two".
Netflix's CEO also said that the company is considering launching cheaper plans in the days to come. He probably thinks that the platform will be able to attract more people to the platform with pocket-friendly plans. Well, not that Netflix has not launched cheaper plans before, but that again, didn't really work for the platform. Maybe in future cheaper plans might just work for the platform.
Netflix is indeed one of the most expensive streaming platforms in the country and possibly that's the reason Hastings wants to bring cheaper plans. Currently, in India, Netflix offers four subscription plans, each of which lets a select number of users use the platform together at the same time. Users can create their personal account on the platform, but the number depends on the plan they take.
The mobile plan comes at Rs 149 per month with one screen support, same for basic Rs 199 plan. The standard plan worth Rs 499 and the premium plan worth Rs 649 come with support for 2 and 4 screens. Apart from the mobile plan, other ones let users stream anything they want on a bigger screen.
So, if you share your Netflix account password or use someone else's, be assured that these days are coming to an end very soon.
Copyright©2022 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today