Roughly 10% of Netflix users don't have an account and simply share someone else's, and Netflix could be about to do something about that.
Although there are more streaming services out there than one person could possibly subscribe to (trust us, we've tried) the word streaming often goes hand-in-hand with just one of them. Netflix. It's like calling plasters band-aids or referring to cola as Coke. A situation where one company has become so synonymous with a product that its brand has pretty much replaced the original name.
Netflix is quickly becoming exactly that for the streaming industry. In the developed world we have almost reached a point where it's stranger to not have Netflix than it is to have it. 137 million of us are signed up to Netflix. That's a pretty staggering figure, and considering the number of countries the service is available in, it has a far wider reach than any television network.
What many people often joke about when it comes to Netflix is account sharing. Chances are if you have the service, someone else is using your account. A sibling, a friend, or maybe even an ex. You might even be the one piggybacking. According to Newsweek, Netflix is losing out on an estimated $135 million each and every month thanks to account sharing, so bosses behind the scenes probably don't find it quite as amusing.
Netflix's chief product officer Greg Peters has admitted that the service is already looking into ways it can limit password sharing. Different tiers of the service allow users to watch Netflix at the same time on multiple screens. However, those screens are all supposed to be under the same roof. Netflix never intended you to share an account with your buddy across town.
Believe it or not, there are actually clauses in Netflix's terms of service that dictate users don't share their accounts with people who don't live in the same house. It has the power to block and even delete accounts if it suspects someone is doing so. Up until now, it has been pretty relaxed regarding those rules. However, $135 million every month is a lot of money, and it might well be money Netflix soon goes after.