TECH
07/23/2015 03:51 pm ET

Do You Use Someone Else’s Netflix Password? You’re Not Alone

Not by a long shot.

 

If you share your Netflix subscription with your significant other or your friends, you're not alone. 

Nearly two-thirds of Netflix subscribers in the United States and the United Kingdom share their username and password with other people, according to a study released by GlobalWebIndex, a market research firm.

Out of 5,721 active Netflix users age 16 - 64, 30 percent say they share their account with another person, 16 percent share their account with two others and 19 percent with three or more other individuals.

Netflix says it has 65 million subscribers around the world, 42 million of them in the U.S. alone.

"When we’re talking about total audience sizes, that means we need to abandon the notion that 1 paid-for subscription = just 1 user," writes Jason Mander, head of trends for GlobalWebIndex. "In reality, there are tens of millions of additional users and the likelihood of people taking this approach will only get more common as Netflix gets more expensive."

Netflix actually encourages families or housemates to use the same account, at least for now. Netflix.com's Help Center says that each account can host as many as five different profiles, and it recommends each member of a household set up their own customizable profile. Netflix also allows up to four different devices to stream videos from the same account, depending on how much you pay. 

In an interview with HuffPost Live on Thursday, Mashable's deputy tech editor, Samantha Murphy Kelly, discussed how sharing passwords with friends and family members could be hurting Netflix' revenue.

"When you think about that large pool of people that are interested in Netflix, want to see the content, but aren't necessarily paying for it, it kind of is a big issue actually for Netflix," Murphy Kelly said. "That is a huge market that they're not getting dollars for."

She also spoke about how Netflix might change its policy in the future and introduce more price options for account sharers. 

"Right now it's very friendly to share certain accounts, but I think that's under the impression of 'a household has this,'" Murphy Kelly told HuffPost Live. "I think they're not really accounting for letting a coworker use it, or letting a friend use your account." 

But this is easier said than done.

"They don't want to alienate their customers or upset them too much," she said."We're not exactly sure what we're going to see yet, but I'm sure this is certainly top-of-mind for the company."

If Netflix account sharing does go away, hopefully you'll still be able to use your best friend's uncle's HBO Go account.

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