37% of Streaming Subscribers Share Accounts With People Outside Their Household, Restricting Streaming Services’ Revenue Growth

Nearly half of streaming subscribers (47%) say they have increased their watch time as a result of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Streaming services are seeing surges in new subscribers, but the frequency of password sharing may hinder total revenue growth

More than one-third of streaming subscribers (37%)  share their accounts with people they do not live with, according to new data from The Manifest, a B2B news and how-to website. This includes family members (25%), close friends/partners (10%), and even acquaintances/strangers they do not live with (2%).

The Manifest surveyed 401 people in the U.S. about their streaming habits in 2020. Data was collected between April 7-10, 2020.

Netflix’s service is set up for several people to share, with the option for multiple user accounts per subscription. Netflix’s terms and conditions specifically state, however, that subscribers should not share their account with people outside their household.

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Therefore, subscribers sharing their streaming accounts with people they do not live with is restricting potential revenue growth for Netflix.

Overall, three-quarters of streaming customers (74%) share their account with at least one other person, either within or outside of their household.

Netflix added nearly 16 million subscribers in Q1 2020, far outpacing expectations due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Password sharing means that Netflix likely has even more new users of its service who are not paying for access, though.

Nearly Half of Streaming Subscribers Have Increased Use Due to COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe, most countries are advising or mandating citizens to stay home and avoid social gatherings.

Given that people are home more, it’s no surprise that 47% of streaming subscribers say they have increased their time on streaming platforms in the past 30 days.

Meanwhile, 36% say their streaming time has remained the same, and only 5% say they watch less streaming content than before.

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Netflix Continues to Dominate Among Streaming Platforms

Netflix is the most popular streaming service, with 75% of people saying they pay for it.

The next most popular streaming services are Amazon Prime Video (56%) and Hulu (40%).

Netflix beats the competition because:

  1. It was the first.
  2. It offers the most original content.

Netflix became the first streaming platform in the world in 2007. Furthermore, it was the first to focus on creating high-quality, original content, including popular shows such as “House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black,” and “Stranger Things.” These early leads allowed it to gain a competitive advantage that other streaming services have not caught up to yet.

The Manifest surveyed 401 people across the U.S. About 46% of the respondents were female; 33% were male.

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