back to article Netflix changes CEO-sharing arrangement, teases paid password-sharing

The co-founder of vid-streamer Netflix, Reed Hastings, has announced he will step down as co-CEO. Hastings penned a blog post in which he explained his move – and the elevation of chief operating officer Greg Peters to serve as co-CEO alongside Ted Sarandos – was all part of Netflix's succession plan. "In the last 2½ years I' …

  1. imanidiot Silver badge

    "Making punters pay for password sharing is one way Netflix hopes to improve revenue."

    Here's an idea: Offer actually good content. Don't fuck over shows that had such great potential (like the Witcher series).

    There's less and less on Netflix worth the price of admission and for many sharing an account was the only way to keep get that cost to an acceptable level.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: "Making punters pay for password sharing is one way Netflix hopes to improve revenue."

      They've cancelled dozens of quite good shows on the basis of 'low completion' (the number of users watching a season through to the end). It's getting to the point when you don't even want to watch the first season of something because you know you'll just be left hanging with loose ends. It's one thing if there's a book (Altered Carbon) but quite another if there isn't (The OA) or if it's adapted from the book but so loosely (True Blood).

      At least give the writers enough notice to wrap it up: Last Resort's writers got told they weren't getting a second season and finished the story's arcs at a gallop (possibly same for GoT?).

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: "Making punters pay for password sharing is one way Netflix hopes to improve revenue."

        For GoT exactly that... the producers wanted to move on to a new project and wrapped up the equivalent of GRRM's next 2 (or 3?) unwritten books in 1 season.

        It's stupid to think that studios make seasons / episodes based on whatever viewing metrics they pull from their arses but the reason people stop watching is that they throw proper story narration out of the window to try and fit each story into a fixed-length season which HAS to finish on some cliffhanger (more often than not artificially created to 'generate suspense'). The very things they are doing to try and capture more user audience is exactly what is losing them viewers.

  2. Ryan D

    It wouldn’t hurt if they offered better plans

    It would certainly help if they offered better plans.

    Want 4K UHD content? Great! Your only option is $23 per month BUT you get to watch on four screens at once and or four devices. Where are the 4K plans for folks with one screen and or device on the hunt for UHD content?

    Not to mention, why the huge bump in cost just to get the aforementioned UHD content? I believe they are the only streaming service to charge extra for it.

    1. Aitor 1

      Re: It wouldn’t hurt if they offered better plans

      The cost of streaming 4k is quite high.

      Also, it doesn't stream on 4k to most computers...

    2. Korev Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: It wouldn’t hurt if they offered better plans

      > Where are the 4K plans for folks with one screen and or device on the hunt for UHD content?

      This applies to me too

  3. theOtherJT Silver badge

    Netflix will die...

    ...and all the other streaming services will die with it if they can't get their shit together and realize that content is the beginning and end of their business. That's it. That's what they do. They provide access to video content. If they can't do that, they are done.

    But no, here we are with the god-damned cable TV bullshit all over again. They're all so busy fucking each other over to secure "exclusive" content for their platform that each provider becomes less and less attractive to customers. I DO NOT CARE who I buy my streaming content from. I never cared. Nobody cares. We want to pay a flat fee, per month, to get access to the things we want to watch. That's it. It's that simple. Not 2 fees. Not 6. Not "If you buy this bundle you get these other bundles for free!". Fuck. All. That. Noise.

    That shit is exactly why video piracy went through the roof when peer to peer services started offering what the cable and satellite companies couldn't - one-click convenience where I get to watch whatever the hell I want without having to worry if it's managed to pass some stupid backroom wrangling test between the lawyers of big companies I don't give a fuck about.

    They need to sign some sort of platform sharing agreement like all the record labels did a decade ago before they're forced out of business entirely.

    1. Insert sadsack pun here

      Re: Netflix will die...

      You've identified the right dynamic and drawn completely the wrong lesson. If streamers are just the intermediaries between content owners and consumers, then they just become Yodel for media files, and everyone knows what Yodel/Evri are like.

      Producing original content is a way to differentiate the platform and win/retain subscribers. The reason why streamers have invested such a gigantic amount into content creation is because they want to reduce churn. It's not because they'll make money on that particular show. If streamers stop spending money on content, no-one else will take their place.

      This is a VC- and debt-funded content bubble - sit back and enjoy the fruits while it lasts. We will be back to gruel soon enough

      1. theOtherJT Silver badge

        Re: Netflix will die... a way to differentiate the platform and win/retain subscribers...

        Which is exactly what I don't want them to do. I do not want to differentiate the platform. I don't care about the platform. It's exactly the same as my ISP or my operating system. It's at it's absolute best when I am basically unaware that it even exists. I want a pipe down which data flows, an shell in which programs run, and in this case a thing I can open on my TV and holy shit, there's a bunch of TV shows in there. "Netflix" adds no value other than to get the things from the creators to me. If it can't do that it is actually subtracting value.

        If Netflix want to be a creator, well, fine I guess, but I don't care who produced a particular show any more than I care how it got delivered to me. I care about watching the god damned show, and streaming services need to stop collectively making that harder and start making it easier - which was the entire benefit of Netflix in the first place before all the other content creators started clawing back their own content and sticking it behind their own paywalls - presumably on the grounds of "We can do what Netflix does and cut out the middle man and keep all the profit!" That isn't going to work out for them because they've missed what it was that Netflix was doing right and what it is that people were really paying for.

        The value Netflix had was as an aggregator. All the shows were there, so that's the place people went to get TV. Netflix was actually easier than bittorrent as a way to get stuff. It was faster, more reliable, and everyone gets to feel good about the fact that they're staying within the law. Once all the shows are not there people are not going to start paying for more subscriptions to fill the holes, they're going to stop paying for subscriptions at all and go back to the high seas - which is what we already see happening.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Netflix will die...

          It was obvious to everyone that the situation Netflix was in a decade ago where they were the only one monetizing streaming so they had almost all the content for a low price was never going to continue. That was a brief accident of history before others were ready to stream at the scale Netflix could.

          If you had a "one stop shop" today it would cost as much as cable/satellite subscriptions do. The entertainment industry was never going to willingly accept 90% less revenue by trading $100+ subscriptions for a single $10+ subscription. Anyone lamenting that didn't happen doesn't understand basic economics.

          Now you can say "I would rather have everything under one roof because it is easier to find stuff" and that's fine, but you are either paying $100+ per month for unlimited access to it, or are you paying per view. Because again, studios are not going to willingly surrender 90% of their revenue.

          1. theOtherJT Silver badge

            Re: Netflix will die...

            Valve would like to talk to you about the economics of being the primary provider and how that drives cost to consumer.

          2. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

            Re: Netflix will die...

            Their choice isn't going to be 100 bucks or 10 bucks, their choice is going to be 10 bucks or nothing. I have Hulu, not Netflix, and as shows disappear, I stopped watching them. Example, Paramount was making a bit off me as I am a Star Trek fan, but Paramount moved Star Trek to their own service. I've not watched Star Trek since, except from my DVD collection.

            I'm already preparing for the future they are pushing though - I bought a microcomputer and will be putting a big-ass hard drive on it, then running my own streaming server through my router. Then I'll go back to buying used DVDs for pennies on the new dollar again.

        2. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Netflix will die...

          Absolutely this. I'm willing to pay a bit more for my streaming service if it offers all the content I want to see. What I am absolutely NOT willing to do is to pay a separate subscription to each of Netflix, Disney+, HBO, Amazon Prime, Apple TV etc etc for the privilege of seeing all the shows I want to watch AND having to remember which show is on which platform*.

          Plex does a good job of aggregating cross-platform content onto a single platform, but that ends up with paying yet another subscription on top of all the others (which is why I just use it as a home server for my locally-owned content).

  4. Winkypop Silver badge

    I can’t imagine

    Paying $$$ to watch TV.

    This seems wholly unnecessary and unattractive.

    1. theOtherJT Silver badge

      Re: I can’t imagine

      Someone has to pay for it somewhere - and if it's not you, it's going to be advertising. Given the choice between paying subscription and watching adverts for me personally it'll be subscription every day of the week. I know some people are fine with adverts, but there's no way I could stand going back to a world where the movie I'm watching gets interrupted every 15 minutes so people can tell me to buy things.

      1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        Re: I can’t imagine

        I agree. Sometimes, I accidentally look at YouTube without an adblocker. I find it makes me want to stab myself in the ears with pencils and gouge out my eyes with spoons.

        1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

          Re: I can’t imagine

          I share your pain. I sometimes watch YT on my TV via Roku, and wish there was an adblocker that could rid me of this junk, but apparently even pi-hole can't do anything about that. As a resort I only watch shows which I know won't be interrupted by ads - I can live with 10-20 seconds once at the start of the show.

        2. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

          Re: I can’t imagine

          (I'm guessing that downvote is from Don Draper.)

      2. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

        Re: I can’t imagine

        Ues, advertising OR a subscription. Advertising AND a subscription is a non-starter. I haven't done that since the late 1990s, and I'll never do it again. TV is a nice to have, not a necessity.

  5. Mark White

    One person, one account

    Why can't Netflix move to the model employed by other streaming services where everyone has their own username and can be added to a group plan?

    For example in Spotify, I have an account, my sister has an account and pays for multiuser. I am a named user on that multiuser account so I get premium.

    The main issue I have with password sharing on Netflix is the password sharing part of it.

  6. tiggity Silver badge


    "Netflix has therefore trialled a scheme whereby folks outside a household can stay attached to an account by paying a password-sharing fee"

    What do they mean by "outside a household" - how would they measure such a thing ?

    e.g. lets say a "nuclear family" (rare these days) of 2 parents & 2 kids

    One (or both) of those kids away at college e.g. staying in college accommodation & return home in all college holidays - they are part of the "household" even though they will spend 50% of the year away from home & be streaming

    Maybe one of the parents has a job where they are on the road a lot, again lots of streaming away from home, then there's holiday (maybe in a different country or continent).

    Either password sharing will raise no extra revenue or it will massively irritate people by charging them extra for "normal use" (e.g. if Netflix try and block usage they "think" shows signs of a password share violation.

    Caveat, I am not a netflix user (there's too many streaming services, to see all content I might enjoy would need multiple services & (deal breaker!) lots of cash outlay so I don't bother - there's plenty of stuff I can record & watch at a later date on terrestrial TV / or watch via iPlayer, certainly more content I might like per week than I would ever have the free time to watch as "TV / Film" watching is not my number 1 leisure activity )

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Red~1

        Re: Confused

        IP addressing works to determine if someone is outside of the house, sure. But in the situations mentioned above (travelling / people who live between two houses) they will show as having two (or more) distinct IP addresses potentially on the same day. Will Netflix consider this to be two houses or not? Would people need to always VPN to the same IP address (their home) to avoid the wrath of netflix? So I think it's entirely a fair point.

        1. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

          Re: Confused

          It is a fair point, and it was a stupid mess:

          I used to share password with my sister, who had to travel around the country for work reasosns. When Netflix detected she was in another place (probably by IP), the login page requested her a code that was sent to my email. When she logged in using the code, Netflix assumed that that IP was the "new" home location, so all the equipment logged in at home would stop working until I put the code back in, which of course would cut her from the platform.

          Essentially, it became a tug-of-war between the two locations, with only one being able to use the platform at a given time.

          This nonsense convinced me to finally get rid of the subscription and I have not looked back since.

          ... The flag? no, it has nothing to do with anything. No, me hearties! -------------------->

          1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

            Re: Confused

            Did that happen recently? Last year I've been outside of the country for work reasons on a few occasions, watched Netflix from the hotel at the same time as SWMBO at home, I never received a code to continue watching, nor did any of us get disconnected.

            1. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

              Re: Confused

              I know that the "do not share passwords" policy was not rolled out everywhere at once, and that my country was one of the first where the idea was tested. In my case, the problems started probably in june 2022 and by August the suscription had ben dragged behind the barn and terminated with extreme prejudice.

  7. IGotOut Silver badge

    Password sharing is a misdirection.

    This is total marketing bullshit.

    The plans are based on the number of simultaneous streams.

    If you "share" your password with a thousand people and you're on the base plan, only one of those can watch at a time.

    I pay for 4 streams so that my parents and my kids can watch it.

    Why does it matter where they are based?

    If the bring it in,my parents will not be bothered, not will I.

    So they will actually LOSE money as many people like me, will drop the higher plans.

    If you want to see how to lose customers by changing the way you provide service and screw your customers over, head over to the Amazon Music reviews.

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: Password sharing is a misdirection.

      You signed up, and it seems what you signed up for was the “up to 4 streams within one household” plan. Netflix doesn’t sell an “up to 4 streams in two households” and definitely not an “up to four streams in an unlimited number of households” plan. Now what you do is between you and Netflix, and you might change your plan or cancel it altogether, but don’t pretend your plan allows this.

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Password sharing is a misdirection.

        Correct, but "household" is not the same as "house". As pointed out above by others, kids at college, family members travelling for work or family on holiday are all still part of the same household even if physically at a different place. But in any case I agree the Netflix system of one login per household and multiple profiles on the same login is broken.

        My kids have their own 'kids' profiles on Netflix, but there is nothing to stop them switching to my profile and accessing content that is not suitable for their age. It would work much better to have individual accounts that can be grouped under a family unit, so each person has their own account (each of which can potentially be limited to eg age group by the master account which is the account paying for the lot).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Stranger things aren't expected when the option is rolled out elsewhere"

    Wait, they're going to stop you watching Stranger Things if you use password sharing?

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