Commentary: Netflix's new policy of charging fees for sharing accounts has caused a stir. To make peace with customers, it should offer a new subscription plan.
Your mom lives in Ohio and you're in New York but you share a Netflix account. The same is true for the family whose kids are in college and for the couple living apart while one's stationed on a military base overseas.
I see your stories. I feel you because I've been in the same boat.
People are not happy about Netflix's move to start charging members extra fees to share accounts. The company's been called out for a 5-year-old tweet: "Love is sharing a password."
The rise of streaming services has revolutionized the way we consume entertainment. With services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, we now have access to a vast library of movies and TV shows at our fingertips. However, one issue that has plagued these services is password-sharing. Many people share their streaming service passwords with family and friends, which can cost these companies millions of dollars in lost revenue. But is there a way to fix this problem without alienating customers? Yes, there is.
Netflix, in particular, has been vocal about the issue of password-sharing in the past. In 2019, the company's Chief Product Officer, Greg Peters, said that the company was "monitoring" the situation and was looking into ways to address it. Since then, there have been reports that Netflix is testing a new feature that would require users to verify their account by email or text message before they can watch shows or movies. However, this feature has not been rolled out to all users yet, and it remains to be seen whether it will be effective in curbing password-sharing.
So, what is the solution to this problem? The answer is simple: create different account tiers with different levels of access.
Currently, Netflix offers three different pricing tiers: Basic, Standard, and Premium. The Basic plan allows users to watch on one screen at a time, while the Standard and Premium plans allow for multiple screens and HD or Ultra HD resolution. However, all three plans allow for unlimited password-sharing.
To address this issue, Netflix could create a new account tier that allows for password-sharing but with limited access. For example, this new tier could allow users to watch on two screens at a time but only in SD resolution. This would be perfect for users who want to share their account with a friend or family member but don't want to give them full access to their account.
Netflix could also create a higher-priced tier that allows for more screens and access to premium features such as 4K resolution and Dolby Atmos sound. This would appeal to users who want more than what the current Premium plan offers and are willing to pay for it.
By creating different account tiers with different levels of access, Netflix would not only give users more options but would also limit the amount of password-sharing that occurs. Users who want to share their account with others could do so without giving away their full access, while users who want more features and screens could upgrade to a higher-priced tier. This would also allow Netflix to generate more revenue without alienating its existing user base.
Of course, there will always be users who will find ways to bypass these restrictions, but this would be a step in the right direction. It would also send a message to users that password-sharing is not acceptable and that there are consequences for doing so.
Netflix is not the only streaming service that is grappling with the issue of password-sharing. Other services such as Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ are also dealing with this problem. However, Netflix is in a unique position to address this issue due to its massive user base and global reach.
In conclusion, password-sharing is a problem that has been plaguing streaming services for years. However, there is a simple solution to this problem: create different account tiers with different levels of access. By doing so, Netflix could limit the amount of password-sharing that occurs while giving users more options and generating more revenue. This is a win-win situation for both Netflix and its users. It remains to be seen whether Netflix will take this step, but it is an easy fix that could go a long way in solving the password-sharing mess.
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