Netflix puts an end to password sharing in India, other markets

US-based streaming service Netflix said it has started cracking down on password sharing in India, as well as in other markets such as Kenya, Indonesia and Croatia. Subscribers from only a single household will be able to access an account henceforth.

Users in a ‘Netflix Household’, meaning ones who use the same internet connection, will be allowed to access the account in the basic plan.

This comes after Netflix started rolling out a ban on password sharing worldwide in May.

The company, however, will not offer the ‘extra member’ option in these countries as it has recently cut prices in many of them. The feature allows subscribers to add an additional member to their account by paying extra.

“Beginning today, we’ll start to address account sharing between households in almost all of our remaining countries. In these markets, we’re not offering an extra member option given that we’ve recently cut prices in a good number of these countries (for example, Indonesia, Croatia, Kenya, and India) and penetration is still relatively low in many of them so we have plenty of runway without creating additional complexity,” the company said, in a letter to its shareholders.

Netflix said borrowing users will be able to transfer their current profile to new and existing accounts.

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The company had launched cheaper plans with ads last November before cracking down on password sharing this May. Netflix said the advertising tier is still a very small part of its membership base and the current ad revenue is not material. Netflix’s advertising tier is fairly new to the market, compared to its rival Hulu, which has been supporting ads on its streaming platform for 15 years. Hulu has roughly 30 million subscribers who pay for its ad-supported tier.

Netflix had cut prices in India for its mobile only plan to Rs 149 a month from Rs 199 a month, in December 2021. The price of the Standard HD plan, supporting two concurrent screens, was cut to Rs 499 a month from Rs 649 a month. Netflix remains the most expensive streaming service in India.

In an interaction with ET in March, Netflix India VP Monika Shergill said that the company had recorded a 30% rise in total viewing hours, while its revenue rose 25%, year over year.

The streaming pioneer, which announced its results for the April-June quarter on Wednesday, added 5.9 million new subscribers during the period.

The company reported diluted earnings per share of $3.29 for the second quarter, ahead of the $2.86 consensus forecast of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

The company’s nearly 6 million subscriber additions outpaced the 1.9 million that Wall Street expected. Netflix had a total of 238.4 million subscribers worldwide as of the end of June.

Quarterly revenue climbed 2.7% from a year earlier to $8.2 billion, shy of analyst forecasts of $8.3 billion.

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