Streaming TV Apps Grapple with Password Sharing

monkeymagick

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In a Reuters/Ipsos poll, it seems that about 21 percent of 18-24 year olds are too cheap to pay for their own streaming video account (warning auto-start video), but then again college tuition is on the rise. Millennials are mooching as well with about 15 percent sharing their accounts. Amid mounting pressure from investors, major streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu are taking note of the password-sharing. Analysts are estimating of a potential loss of $550 million in revenue in 2019 due to sharing accounts except that doesn't necessarily mean people will pay for their own accounts. For now, a few services including HBO Go are encouraging sharing and currently offer free services to about 100 U.S. colleges and universities in hopes that the users will enjoy the service enough to pay for it in the future like the old drug dealer tactic of offering "the first hit for free."

Does the statistic take into account the independent variable of "Netflix and chill?"


"I feel like since we are family, it's OK," said the 22-year-old Bradshaw, who estimates she watches four hours of shows on weeknights and 10 hours a day on weekends.

If companies cracked down on password sharing, Bradshaw said she would be willing to pay for her own Netflix subscription but is not sure about Hulu, which is owned by several media companies. "I binge a lot of shows on Netflix. I don't think I could do without it," she said.
 

B00nie

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The UHD version of netflix comes with 4 simultaneous users, how many does he need?

I'm planning to quit my subscription anyway, the selection on Netflix mostly sucks. It's getting painful to find anything of value to watch. All movies are ages old or low quality. I only keep it for a couple of tv-series but even from them all seasons are usually not covered.
 

monkeymagick

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The UHD version of netflix comes with 4 simultaneous users, how many does he need?

I'm planning to quit my subscription anyway, the selection on Netflix mostly sucks. It's getting painful to find anything of value to watch. All movies are ages old or low quality. I only keep it for a couple of tv-series but even from them all seasons are usually not covered.
The streaming wars have begun. I believe Fox is planning or has already moved a good chunk of their programming to Hulu. I use both services and do share accounts with others myself. Upcoming Netflix shows do support 4k and HDR, a plus in my book. Sadly, Hulu is gobbling a lot of the current shows, but presenting shows at only HD resolutions with commercials. A-la-carte, is turning into a-la-services right now and slowly approaching cable tv subs when you include costs for the multiple services.
 

Tweak42

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The streaming wars have begun. I believe Fox is planning or has already moved a good chunk of their programming to Hulu. I use both services and do share accounts with others myself. Upcoming Netflix shows do support 4k and HDR, a plus in my book. Sadly, Hulu is gobbling a lot of the current shows, but presenting shows at only HD resolutions with commercials. A-la-carte, is turning into a-la-services right now and slowly approaching cable tv subs when you include costs for the multiple services.

Our family has Prime, Hulu and Netflix which is shared across multiple devices. Content consumption kinda varied. Some months we watch different shows and others they practically are unused. At least we can cancel and renew any time we like unlike our cable tv package with comes with most channels we don't watch beyond OTA.
 

focbde

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Over here in Germany unfortunately the options are not great. Netflix is available albeit with a much reduced selection. Prime is available, but again much reduced and a lot of content is only in bloody awful dubbed German (although it's getting better at offering original language). The German TV stations anyway dub absolutely everything and it's absolutely, incredibly awful - I don't know the Germans tolerate it. Guess they're just used to it. If watching a German movie or show then I want it in German. If English, then I want English. If Swahili, then Swahili, with English subtitles. Enough of the bloody dubbing.

To top it off I'm forced to pay over 20 euros a month for a compulsory broadcasting fee for content that is so bad, it's actually laughable.
 

Semantics

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Pretty sure most content is shifting over to Hulu,
NBC 30%
Fox 30%
Disney/ABC 30%
Time Warner 10%
All you're missing is Viacom, Sony, CBS then the smaller movie distros and independent cable/netflix.

I think netflix saw this years ago when hulu was created and that's why they started to try to produce more of their own content.
 

steakman1971

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Seems like it would be hard to enforce account sharing. They limit it to a number of simultaneous devices already. Investors - cry me a river. Netlix didn't start streaming until what, 2008? Theyused to be a place you borrowed DVD & BluRay discs from via the mail. Now, that service is mostly gone (yeah, believe it technically is still there but I don't know anyone that uses it or associates it with Netflix...) Look at the graph showing customers and revenue. It's good by all accounts. Netflix is a household name - congrats - that's hard to achieve.
 

Dalexx

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Seems like it would be hard to enforce account sharing. They limit it to a number of simultaneous devices already. Investors - cry me a river. Netlix didn't start streaming until what, 2008? Theyused to be a place you borrowed DVD & BluRay discs from via the mail. Now, that service is mostly gone (yeah, believe it technically is still there but I don't know anyone that uses it or associates it with Netflix...) Look at the graph showing customers and revenue. It's good by all accounts. Netflix is a household name - congrats - that's hard to achieve.
Guess I'm one of the rare holdouts that still gets DVDs in the mail and streams. it's not like I can stream the movies that I get on Disc, so I've kept that service. Though last year I dropped from 4 disc to 1. On Topic, probably wouldn't be to hard to enforce, Require device registration, limit the number of devices to say 6-7 per account, and require a code to be entered every time a new device is detected and require the consumer to pick a device to remove. The question is if it is worth it if they make it too naggy
 

jfreund

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If the content cartel had its way we'd be paying per viewer, per impression.

Reruns used to be the crap they showed during the summer when fewer people were watching. Now they want $120 per year to watch them.
 

Gigus Fire

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This is silly nonsense.
18-24 age range don't have very good average earnings, and thus not a lot of money to spend on entertainment.
Why do you think software in general is discounted towards this group of people? To get them hooked/familiar with it so that when they do get a good paying job, they're more than likely to purchase what they're used to.
The same thing goes for streaming services. Some idiots in suits may think it's lost revenue and they need to crack down on it.
Others would see this as an opportunity to hook in future customers.
I mean someone is already paying for the service somewhere and typically there are limits on concurrent streaming so it's a non-issue.
 

Shmee

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Seems like this problem goes away if you just limit simultaneous streams. Netflix at the low end only offers two streams at a time. You need more than that, you pay more, so Netflix is still getting paid even though people are sharing. Seems like that is fair to me.
 
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Viper87227

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Seems like this problem goes away if you just limit simultaneous streams. Netflix at the low end only offers two streams at a time. You need more than that, you pay more, so Netflix is still getting paid even though people are sharing. Seems like that is fair to me.

Limiting simultaneous streams doesn't really take care of it. On the 4K tier, you can have four simultaneous streams. That doesn't mean only four people can use your account. You could give your password out to 10 people, and as long as your usage times are varied there's a chance you could always keep under the 4 stream limit while giving a lot more people than intended access to content. And starting at $8/mo, Netflix is easily affordable to a lot of people. When we talk about game piracy, people often bring up the notion that these are a group otherwise unwilling or unable to part with the $60 that new games cost. I understand that sort of thinking. But $8 a month, if you can't afford that, wtf do you even have a TV for? Most people who share a NF password, I think if they had to pay, they can, and would.

I'm really not opposed to them taking measures to limit this. I don't share my credentials with anyone, and I wouldn't want to. They are no doubt making a lot of money, but they are using it to create excellent, AAA entertainment. I don't care about 3rd party content, I use them almost exclusively for NF originals. I want to see those shows continue, and get better. I want to see them come out with new stuff with the same quality level as their current programming. That takes money. The more they limit sharing accounts, the more subs they have, the more money they have, the more quality entertainment I get to enjoy. Simple as that.
 

nilepez

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The streaming wars have begun. I believe Fox is planning or has already moved a good chunk of their programming to Hulu. I use both services and do share accounts with others myself. Upcoming Netflix shows do support 4k and HDR, a plus in my book. Sadly, Hulu is gobbling a lot of the current shows, but presenting shows at only HD resolutions with commercials. A-la-carte, is turning into a-la-services right now and slowly approaching cable tv subs when you include costs for the multiple services.
Not a surprise. I took a Mass Communications course 25 years ago and in academia it was widely believed ala-carte was the future and that you'd ultimately pay more to get less. It's pretty clear that's what is going to happen.

It's especially true if you're cherry picking stations from a given provider....e.g. Fox News, but not some less popular fox station. And of course if peeps like me don't have to get ESPN, then your cost for ESPN will go up.
That said, I'm OK with netflix. There's still more content than I can watch and unlike some who no longer like it, I rarely watch movies on Netflix. I don't even look for them most of the time.
 

nilepez

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Guess I'm one of the rare holdouts that still gets DVDs in the mail and streams. it's not like I can stream the movies that I get on Disc, so I've kept that service. Though last year I dropped from 4 disc to 1. On Topic, probably wouldn't be to hard to enforce, Require device registration, limit the number of devices to say 6-7 per account, and require a code to be entered every time a new device is detected and require the consumer to pick a device to remove. The question is if it is worth it if they make it too naggy
Even that doesn't really help, unless someone is sharing it for a day.

If I have netflix with 4 simultaneous streams, I set it up on my TV and 2 PCs. Kid in another state sets it up on his PC and perhaps a tablet. It's still being shared. I assume that most sharing is within family or a small group of friends. I sure as hell wouldn't hand my password, which gives access to account info) to someone that I didn't trust implicitly and definitely wouldn't allow people that could potentially put me over the max simultaneous streams.
 

nilepez

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This is silly nonsense.
18-24 age range don't have very good average earnings, and thus not a lot of money to spend on entertainment.
Why do you think software in general is discounted towards this group of people? To get them hooked/familiar with it so that when they do get a good paying job, they're more than likely to purchase what they're used to.
The same thing goes for streaming services. Some idiots in suits may think it's lost revenue and they need to crack down on it.
Others would see this as an opportunity to hook in future customers.
I mean someone is already paying for the service somewhere and typically there are limits on concurrent streaming so it's a non-issue.

Netflix is roughly 10 bucks. Kids spend more than that on alcohol in an hour or 2 at a bar. Claiming it's not affordable is a ridiculous statement. That's especially true if you're watching 40 hours of netflix/week. That said, I don't see netflix changing their current policy in the near term, but I do think they will eventually make changes...whether that will stop parents from sharing with kids, I don't know. It will likely depend on subscriber growth as well as the cost of content.
 

Spidey329

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This is a tricky problem to address. They currently only allow X (depending account) number of unique IP's streaming at a time. The issue is that we still use revolving / dynamic IP's for the majority of consumer access to the internet. Because of that, they can't limit access to a single household modem. Requiring a nanny device (something that sits on your network and updates your household IP) would be costly. Further limiting streaming access is going to cause issues with legitimate users (e.g. if you move from one TV to another). Locking the account to a geographical region hurts legitimate travelers (and takes away a value add of the service).

Wall Street can bitch all they want about lost revenue, but this is not an easy nut to break without pissing off your customer base with additional limitations and hurtles. They might lose more in the long run.

The UHD version of netflix comes with 4 simultaneous users, how many does he need?

I'm planning to quit my subscription anyway, the selection on Netflix mostly sucks. It's getting painful to find anything of value to watch. All movies are ages old or low quality. I only keep it for a couple of tv-series but even from them all seasons are usually not covered.

My problem with the Netflix catalog is that they don't cycle enough out. I'd prefer they went for shorter license agreements and rotated them more. Get more old classic movies on there. The 80's & 90's gave us plenty of catalog, surely they can't be as pricey as the more recent films (but with Hollywood, you never know).
 
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nutzo

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I'm really not opposed to them taking measures to limit this. I don't share my credentials with anyone, and I wouldn't want to. They are no doubt making a lot of money, but they are using it to create excellent, AAA entertainment. I don't care about 3rd party content, I use them almost exclusively for NF originals. I want to see those shows continue, and get better. I want to see them come out with new stuff with the same quality level as their current programming. That takes money. The more they limit sharing accounts, the more subs they have, the more money they have, the more quality entertainment I get to enjoy. Simple as that.

Go ahead and crack down on password sharing. More people will drop the service and NF will end up with less money.
I used to subscribe to Netflix, getting 3 DVD's at a time. I eventually drop that to 1 disk and streaming. Then they split the service and wanted double for disk and streaming. So I dropped Netflix.

Tried just streaming later, but the selection kept getting worse.
Got tired of adding several movies to my watch list, only to have them no longer available a week later when I finally had time to watch them.
I don't care about their "Original" content. I want access to new releases (and not after 30+ days) and the large collection of movies they used to have.
Guess I'm not a customer they are interested in any more.
 

scojer

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Here is a simple fix, to allow sharing but still recoup costs:

Have a main account with 3-4 logins, the way it is now, all commercial free (unless you're hulu and still have those every now & then ads.)

Then, have a sub account that you can share with people. Those users can use the service, but they have a commercial before or after the programming. Not during.
 

MrBonk

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The age old piracy argument.
Assuming that if these people couldn't pirate or access for free. That they would actually pay for it. And therefore =lost money that actually never existed.
 

disemboweler

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Pretty sure most content is shifting over to Hulu,
NBC 30%
Fox 30%
Disney/ABC 30%
Time Warner 10%
All you're missing is Viacom, Sony, CBS then the smaller movie distros and independent cable/netflix.

I think netflix saw this years ago when hulu was created and that's why they started to try to produce more of their own content.


Maybe, or maybe they don't really care about that sort of content as much because they seem to cater to an older, more intelligent audience than Hulu does (and Network TV - NBC, ABC, CBS - and Disney - fit that bill to a "T"!). Netflix/Amazon do have some network TV content though, so it's apparently not exclusive to Hulu completely - they just select shows that are actually good, usually. The vast majority of network TV is complete brainless trash and entertainment FEAR-news.

I can't stand Hulu anyway, so I'll continue to subscribe to almost everything but them and their ridiculous 1-2 same commercials they repeat every few minutes OVER & OVER & OVER. That drives me insane - and even when paid they do it... F that!
 

Biznatch

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Go ahead and crack down on password sharing. More people will drop the service and NF will end up with less money.
I used to subscribe to Netflix, getting 3 DVD's at a time. I eventually drop that to 1 disk and streaming. Then they split the service and wanted double for disk and streaming. So I dropped Netflix.

Tried just streaming later, but the selection kept getting worse.
Got tired of adding several movies to my watch list, only to have them no longer available a week later when I finally had time to watch them.
I don't care about their "Original" content. I want access to new releases (and not after 30+ days) and the large collection of movies they used to have.
Guess I'm not a customer they are interested in any more.


Except none of that is the fault of netflix..... It's the content 'producers' not licensing their content to netflix because it competes with their content distribution arm of their business, or charging stupidly ridiculous fees to license that would force netflix to charge even more. This is what happens when we only have a couple mega corporations that own all content creation/distribution.....
 

nilepez

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Maybe, or maybe they don't really care about that sort of content as much because they seem to cater to an older, more intelligent audience than Hulu does (and Network TV - NBC, ABC, CBS - and Disney - fit that bill to a "T"!). Netflix/Amazon do have some network TV content though, so it's apparently not exclusive to Hulu completely - they just select shows that are actually good, usually. The vast majority of network TV is complete brainless trash and entertainment FEAR-news.

I can't stand Hulu anyway, so I'll continue to subscribe to almost everything but them and their ridiculous 1-2 same commercials they repeat every few minutes OVER & OVER & OVER. That drives me insane - and even when paid they do it... F that!

They had a ton of CBS programming until CBS all access came around then most of that content was pulled once the agreement was up.
They get CW programs almost immediately after the season ends.
It appears that many ABC programs do roughly the same, since I see lots of stuff from last season on Netflix (but no Designated Survivor, which is odd, since they show that everywhere but North America)

I don't know if they have an NBC deal, but they have some older shows like Parks and Recreation, so they may have a deal with them too.
Fox is hit and miss..

All in all, I'm happy with Netflix' selection, but I'm more likely to watch a series than a movie. I'd buy an old movie if I wanted to watch it (they're generally cheap) and I go to theaters for a lot of new movies and if I miss them, there's always a cheap rental at Redbox.
 
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nutzo

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Except none of that is the fault of netflix..... It's the content 'producers' not licensing their content to netflix because it competes with their content distribution arm of their business, or charging stupidly ridiculous fees to license that would force netflix to charge even more. This is what happens when we only have a couple mega corporations that own all content creation/distribution.....

I agree the problem is with the content 'producers'. I didn't place the blame on Netflix.
 

rudy

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Do not try to stop people from sharing simply limit the number of concurrent devices. Then offer a family option to up them.

If people want to use them to share so what. If you want to really fix the problem you have to get consumers to regulate themselves and the way you do that is you tend to their selfishness. So lets say you are Netflix. $9 gets you 1 active user, and you have to pay $2 extra per user per month up to a maximum of 5 users. This tends to the selfishness of the users, if a parent isn't willing to pay the extra money the college student has to buy it themselves. If they are willing to pay fine. Just like piracy they aren't all going to buy the subscription. Here you make a little more money off of extra connections. Play with the numbers till you maximize profit.
 
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