Samba TV: Streaming Account Sharing on the Rise


Samba TV and HarrisX have unveiled new data showing that account sharing is on the rise, with 51 percent of respondents indicating they share their SVOD subscriptions with others.

Per the study, 49 percent of Netflix subscribers share their subscription with someone else; the platform has begun cracking down on the practice, offering members the option to pay extra for additional users on their accounts. Of note, the survey found that seven in ten adults who share and borrow access to streaming services say that Netflix is a platform they are most likely to share with others. About 48 percent of Disney+ subscribers share their passwords with someone else.

Sharing is largely within the same household, Samba TV and HarrisX found. Of those subscribed to at least one platform, 60 percent share their password with someone else. This includes 79 percent of Gen Z and 74 percent of millennials, compared to 52 percent of Gen X and 38 percent of Baby Boomers.

Of those who are allowing others to use their accounts, 57 percent share with one to two people. Millennials are the most likely to share with more than that. The study also reports that more than four in ten people would be willing to pay more to share their account with someone outside of their home; 41 percent would pay up to $10 per month, and another 10 percent would pay up to $15.

Password crackdowns could lead to an increase in cancellations, especially among younger subscribers; 37 percent of current Netflix subscribers would cancel their accounts if they could no longer share their passwords with people outside their homes. This rises to 52 percent in Gen Z and 51 percent of Millennials. It’s just 25 percent for Gen X and Baby Boomers. For those using someone else’s account, 64 percent would subscribe to Netflix if they could no longer use someone else’s password.

Samba TV CEO Ashwin Navin noted: “Data from Samba TV and HarrisX shows the crackdown on password sharing has the potential to hasten the growth of Netflix’s ad-supported tier as sharers are gently forced to migrate to their own accounts. Of those who currently use someone else’s Netflix account, almost 40 percent say they’d move toward the cheaper monthly subscription with ads, while only a quarter may sign up for their own ad-free experience.”

Navin added: “There’s also an opportunity for Netflix to charge for these additional users. Four in ten subscribers say they’d pay up to an additional $10 per month to share their account with someone outside of their home. Implementing this new fee could quickly grow Netflix’s subscriber revenue. Most subscriber losses due to password sharing are likely to come from younger generations. Our research indicates more than half of Gen Z and Millennial subscribers are likely to cancel their accounts if they are no longer allowed to share passwords. This is roughly double the percentage of Gen X and Boomer subscribers who say they’d do the same.”