Netflix has the largest number of viewers in the U.S., but according to the findings of a survey by research firm Survata for Quartz, 31% of viewers in the U.S. do not pay for the service. Unsurprisingly, people belonging to the lower age groups are the biggest offenders.
Not all are paying subscribers
It has been found that of all the subscribers belonging to the age group of 13 to 17, 69% “mooch” off someone else’s account, while in the age group of 18-24, 50% are moochers. Survata conducted the survey in January and asked 2,255 people in the U.S. whether they pay for a Netflix subscription or mooched by using an account belonging to a friend or a family member.
Of all the people surveyed, 69% said they pay to access a Netflix account, while 26% and 5% made use of a family member’s or a friend’s account, respectively. It was also found that 37% of males mooch, while just 27% of females mooch.
A Netflix subscription allows two people to share login credentials and a password for $8 a month. A maximum of four people can stream one account simultaneously for $12 per month.
Netflix, HBO cool with moochers
No clear etiquette for sharing passwords exists. It is completely fine to share passwords within households, and video streaming companies themselves encourage this practice. Importantly, Netflix does not see account sharing as an issue since it believes that in the future, these people will convert into paying subscribers.
In January speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), CEO Reed Hastings said most moochers are young people who have very high chances of becoming paying subscribers once they get older and have money of their own to spend. HBO CEO Richard Plepler too is unconcerned about HBO Go moochers. Last year, he said that HBO’s business remains unaffected from password sharing, and instead, he believes it to be a “terrific marketing vehicle.”
However, a recent report from Parks Associates claimed that mooching leads to humongous losses of $500 million a year for the streaming video industry. The online black market for streaming accounts is thriving, and this is the major concern of Hastings and Plepler since stolen login credentials are sold at a discount in such markets.