Netflix and Hulu users believe in the concept of sharing. A survey from Park Associates reveals that 60% of U.S. broadband households make use of the streaming services, but of those, one in ten are not paying for the service, meaning they are using a shared password.
As per the survey, Netflix users are better when it comes to sharing, with over 10% admitting that they use someone else’s account to access the streaming service. Hulu Plus users were second with 10% sharers, followed by 5% for Amazon Prime viewers. One main reason for a low percentage of sharers for Amazon is that the password, which along with providing access to the streaming services, unlocks other services as well.
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Users aged 18-24 were most likely to be sharing from someone else’s profile. According to the survey, 22% of users belonging to this age group admitted using someone else’s account. Previously, Netflix allowed only two devices per account, but in 2013 when the company came up with a family streaming plan, the cap was raised to four devices.
Brett Sappington, director of research at Park Associates, said, “In terms of hours of consumption per dollar spent, consumers have every reason to shift spending to online video,” adding that the Pay-TV will have to “move up the OTT learning curve, which is very different from the traditional pay-TV environment.”
HBO Go was not considered in the survey. If it had been included, its sharers would have been high considering the HBO did use to encourage users to share passwords. However, after the launch of the company’s standalone HBO Now last month, the trend is expected to change.
Password sharing. Is it legal?
Separately, at the start of the year, a Consumer Reports survey revealed that almost 46% the streaming subscribers share their passwords. Though sharing is good, is it really legal to shares one’s Netflix or Hulu password?
Many streaming services are ok with you sharing the passwords, but they generally want you to keep it within the family. On this issue, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings previously said that a husband and wife sharing an account is appropriate, but getting a password from your “boyfriend’s uncle” is inappropriate.