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Cracking down on password sharing pays off for Netflix

Netflix added millions of paying customers in the last year after telling password sharers to get their own subscription.
Cracking down on password sharing pays off for Netflix
Posted at 9:45 AM, Apr 19, 2024

Netflix has seen a spike in new members in the last year after it implemented changes to limit password sharing.

According to new financial data released by the company, Netflix had 82.7 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada as of the end of March, which was up from 74.4 million a year earlier. 

With average revenue per subscriber increasing by over $1 in the last year, the company raked in $4.2 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2024, an increase from $3.6 billion in the first quarter of 2023. 

In a call with investors, Netflix Co-CEO Gregory Peters said that engagement might be lower due to fewer people sharing a subscription, but the company expects to continue gaining subscribers. 

"Due to the work that we've been doing on password sharing, essentially cutting off some viewers who are not payers, and therefore, we're going to lose some viewing associated with that," Peters said. "So when you see our next engagement report, you are going to see some impact to our overall absolute view hours as a result of that. But despite that impact and despite the general pressure from strong competition, we think our engagement remains healthy. You can see it in terms of the Nielsen ratings and our modest growth in TV time in the United States."

SEE MORE: Disney+ will start its password-sharing crackdown this summer

Although Netflix has seen increased competition over the years in the streaming business, a growing number of consumers are gravitating toward streaming platforms. According to Netflix, 38.5% of U.S. TV viewership is streaming, which is up from 34% a year earlier. In March, 8.1% of all TV viewership was on Netflix's platform. 

Netflix said it hopes new live events will grow its subscriber base. The company plans to stream a live bout this summer between Mike Tyson and Jake Paul. The platform also will become the home to WWE Monday Night Raw in 2025. 

"We're going to continue to try a lot of new things," said Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos. "But the core of it is, do our members love it? And judging from the early excitement around the Jake Paul-Mike Tyson fight, there's going to be a lot of people waking up in the middle of the night all over the world to watch this fight in real time.

Netflix developed three different price points. Its least expensive plan, which includes ads, is $6.99. The next tier is $15.49 a month, while the premium plan is $22.99 a month. The two top tiers allow customers to add another subscriber for $7.99 a month. 

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