While Netflix is trialing the idea of charging subscribers extra for sharing their account password with friends and family, companies like Time2Play, which provides reviews for the best online casinos sites, are conducting studies to discover how many people are actually doing this. The Time2Play study also interestingly provides insight into how many people would actually pay for a subscription to Netflix if they were no longer able to access it for “free” through a generous friend or family member.
According to the Time2Play study, which was conducted in August 2022 with 1,007 Canadians, one of the smaller Canadian provinces is actually the most guilty of password sharing: a whopping 71% of Netflix subscribers in Nova Scotia admit to sharing their password with someone else. In second place is neighbour New Brunswick with 63% followed by Quebec at 61%, British Columbia and Manitoba, both at 57%, and Alberta at 56%. In fact, in almost all the provinces, at least half of Netflix subscribers share their passwords with others at 52% in Ontario and 50% in Newfound & Labrador. The only province with a number under half was Saskatchewan at 38%. Prince Edward Island, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon were not accounted for due to an insufficient amount of data.
Meanwhile, an equal number – more than half – of Canadians admitted to using a friend of family member’s account (54.9%) while just 45.1% of respondents say they have and pay for their own. More than half – 59.6% – were willing to admit that they are among the many Netflix subscribers who openly share their passwords. What’s more, it isn’t just with a single person or family: the average number of people Netflix subscribers share their account password with is 2.3.
A similar Time2Play study was conducted in the U.S. in April 2022 and while 76.2% of Americans expect the favour to be returned through their family or friends sharing passwords from other streaming services, 21.3% of Canadians don’t. Canadians also share Netflix accounts more than Americans by 10.5%.
It’s no surprise given that Netflix plans, which arrived in Canada at just $7.99/mo., now cost $16.49/mo. for the standard plan and go as high as $20.99/mo. for the premium plan. With that said, subscribers have a lot more features, high-definition viewing, and access to tons more content. Still, Time2Play wonders, with these consistent price hikes, at what point subscribers will say enough is enough and cancel altogether. It appears the magic number, according to the survey, is $23.29/mo. This means Netflix is only $2.30/mo. away from potentially losing a significant number of paying customers.
What about sharing and a potential ban or added fee for it? The majority (64.4%) of Netflix subscribers in Canada said they would cancel if Netflix implements a ban on sharing.
The Time2Play survey also provides insight into Canadians’ streaming habits, overall. More than half (53.7%) of Canadians say they watch movies and/or TV shows through illegal sources for a variety of reasons, including 50.8% who use illegal sources to watch content that isn’t legally available in Canada. While 20.7% simply don’t want to pay for streaming, 13.3% can’t afford to pay for streaming services. Consider that the average age of respondents was 31 and the average household income was $90,579.31.
For the other 46.3% of Canadians who don’t use illegal sources to watch movies and/or TV shows, 44.8% says it’s because they think it’s inconvenient to use. They don’t want to deal with the hassle of searching for a website with decent streaming quality without getting a virus, believing that it isn’t worth their time. Of the rest, 16.3% don’t use illegal sources for moral reasons, while 12.6% fear a potential lawsuit/prosecution. Some Canadians (12.2%) simply don’t know how to stream through illegal sources. Only a small handful (5.5%) fear computer viruses, which is surprising since illegal streaming is notorious for computer viruses.
When it comes to Netflix, then, the fact that most Canadians share their passwords justifies Netflix’s plans for cracking down, or at least capitalizing on that trend. But with the rising costs of the subscription, and the possibility of an extra fee for sharing, Netflix finds itself in a tough spot: subscribers who do pay could abandon the service if they don’t like the direction it’s going.