Study: Research Into Streaming Account Sharing in 2022

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It’s a known fact that streaming service accounts are rarely for the bill payer alone, with so many people sharing their accounts with partners, family, friends and even friends of friends!

In March, Netflix announced that it was adding new features to allow people to share their account securely with friends and family members for a higher cost. The announcement came after the company confirmed that the sharing of passwords between households was impacting its ‘ability to invest in great new TV and films’.*

It was also reported that in Q1 2022, Netflix had lost 200,000 subscribers** – the first time it had lost any in a decade.

We wanted to find out how rife subscription service password sharing is. We conducted a study of 5,000 adults worldwide who use services such as Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime, to find out how many people share their accounts with others, and whose accounts people use, whether that’s their parents, partner, an ex or even a stranger!

The survey found that the average streaming account is shared by five people, with more than a third (37%) of those who don’t own the account admitting that they’ve never paid for a streaming subscription!

So, is it the cost that is stopping people getting their own account?

Well, it appears so, as although the average streaming subscription costs $8.99 (£7.66) a month, when people who currently use someone else’s account were asked, only three quarters (74%) said that they would pay for their own subscription if required. The other quarter (26%) confirmed they would go without the service if they had to pay for it themselves.

When asking those who use other people’s streaming services whose account they use:

  • Two thirds (70%) confirmed they use the account of a partner, friend or family member
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) admit to using an ex-partner’s account
  • 4% use an account paid for by their employer
  • And 3% admit to using the account of someone they’ve never met!

Of those who admit using an ex’s account, two thirds (65%) admitted that they only do so to save money, whereas a quarter (25%) have just not or forgotten to log out, and one in ten (11%) confirmed they use it ‘out of spite’!

On the subject of ex-partners’ accounts, one in fifteen (7%) adults who currently have a streaming service subscription said that they know an-ex partner still uses their account, and one in eight (12%) adults have changed their password in the past after finding out an ex had their login. Some people cited that they’ve enjoyed changing their password when they realized their past partner was still using their account.

Of those who pay for their own streaming subscriptions, only a fifth (20%) of people care that other people use their account. When asked if they have issues with other people using their login, nearly all (96%) confirmed this was due to them not being able to use the services when they want to.

Additionally, of the people who’ve shared their streaming account with others, one in ten (9%) confirmed they can’t remember who they’ve shared their password with.

It’s clear to see that people haven’t changed their habits despite Netflix’s plea and although there are new features, it seems that if people can share their passwords and accounts with others to save money, they will!


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