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Kenzie Wilson

2023/07/11

Lessons Learned From Netflix’s Crackdown on Account Sharing

Netflix recently rolled out their crackdown on account sharing which prevents users from sharing their account with users outside of their households.

Netflix is the one of the first streaming services to roll out this type of prevention on account sharing, but they likely won’t be the last.

Here are the lessons we learned from Netflix’s crackdown on account sharing:

1. PR Matters

Screenshot of Netflix’s tweet from 2017 - “love is sharing a password.”

Users were very concerned when Netflix first announced this “crackdown”. They didn’t fully understand what it meant other than that it could potentially cost them more money.

Netflix could have done a better job with their PR efforts leading up to the “crackdown”. For starters, “crackdown” may not have been the best word. It sounds scary and evokes fear in their users.

Additionally, Netflix didn’t effectively communicate what they meant by “crackdown”. Users were nervous that they wouldn’t be able to watch Netflix if they weren’t at home.

It is important to be honest with your users when rolling out account sharing prevention efforts.

2. User won’t leave you

Many companies are weary about account sharing prevention in fear that they will lose users. However, Netflix quickly debunked this myth by posting their largest 4 days of growth after stopping account sharing.

Users agree to your terms and conditions when they sign up and by account sharing they break that policy. Will some users be annoyed that they now actually have to pay for your services? Maybe, but they will still sign up.

3. Always give users the benefit of the doubt

Not all users who are account sharing are doing so with mal intent. Sometimes they are just sharing because it is simply quicker and easier. Sometimes they only share with one other user.

Then there are those who abuse the system and share with up to 10+ others.

It is critical to understand your users and know when to nudge them. Add these non-paying users to your growth funnel and target them appropriately. If you are too aggressive from the beginning you could risk losing the user.

4. Show compassion

Like I mentioned before, not all users are sharing with mal intent. Show your users that you care about them and be gentle when addressing account sharing.

Netflix did this by targeting the shadow user rather than the primary account holder.

After you make the initial contact with the shadow user, slowly add pressure until they sign up.

We learned a lot from Netflix’s account sharing crackdown, but the most important thing we learned was that it worked.

Account sharing prevention didn’t result in a massive loss of users but rather a massive spike. Don’t get left behind, sign up today with Rupt to start your account sharing prevention.