As crackdown on Netflix password sharing continues, co-CEO Reed Hastings pledges not to ‘tighten the screws’ on consumers – Deadline

Netflix has tightened its controls on password sharing, a change that could generate billions in previously lost revenue, but the company recognizes that it is a delicate process.

“We test a lot of things, but we would never deploy something that looks like turning the screws” on consumers, said co-CEO Reed Hastings during the company’s first quarter earnings interview. “Consumers have to feel like this makes sense, that they understand it.

The tests, which were revealed earlier this year, are meant to “align with the way consumers think,” Hastings added.

Netflix largely missed its own subscriber growth forecast, reporting 208 million subscribers globally at the end of the quarter. Wall Street analysts and investors are increasingly wondering how much the company could make by requiring each viewer to be properly logged into their own account. Citibank analyst Jason Bazinet recently estimated that the company is losing $ 6 billion a year by not limiting the practice.

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Greg Peters, COO and chief product officer of Netflix, said the company “for a while” was looking at sharing, which he described as a way “to continually improve service.”

Netflix is ​​looking to land on a set of subscription and pricing packages that deliver value and affordability in a wide range of socio-economic circumstances across the globe. “While we are doing this,” he continued, the goal is to make sure that “we are able to make sure that the people who use a Netflix account – who access it – are the ones who are authorized to do it. . “

Nidhi Gupta of Fidelity Management & Research, who hosted the earnings interview, asked Peters which regions of the world see the most common password sharing.

“We see different ranges of behavior,” said Peters, declining to be more specific. “The way people orient themselves to service varies from country to country.” He added that for some customers, sharing their password is not bad and can in fact be a sign of loyalty and affection. “It’s more than how they maybe think about how they think they are running the system,” he said, “it’s how they think about sharing the service with a family member or someone. that they like. “

The patterns of this sharing are “all different across the planet, and it’s different within countries,” Peters added.

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