Analysis: 33% of Netflix Subs Share the Service

New consumer research from Leichtman Research Group found that 83% of U.S. households have at least one streaming video service from the 15 top direct-to-consumer and subscription video-on-demand services, including 67% of all households with Netflix.

However, not all Netflix and other streaming services are paid for directly by those who use them. The study found that 64% of Netflix subs do not share their account with others outside the household, while 33% are used by more than one household.

Specifically, Leichtman found that 15% of Netflix services are used and paid for by those that also share them with someone outside the household. Another 15% of Netflix accounts are used in one household but are borrowed from another household that is paying for the service, while 3% of services are used by multiple households that share costs, and 3% are not paid for because they come with another service.

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These findings are based on an online survey of 4,400 households from throughout the U.S. and are part of a new LRG study, Internet-Delivered Pay-TV Services 2022. This is LRG’s fifth annual study focused on the online pay-TV category, along with other DTC streaming video services.

“Password sharing is an inherent feature of most streaming services,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “Sharing helps to expand the user base and retain customers, but it also creates a gap between the number of households that have a service, and actual paying subscribers.”

Other findings from the study include that 29% of all DTC services are shared with others outside the household, 12% of all DTC services are fully paid for by someone outside the household, 34% of adults ages 18-34 have at least one DTC service that is fully paid for by someone else — compared to 14% of ages 35+.

About 5% of all households had Netflix in the past year, but currently do not — similar to 6% for Hulu, 5% for Amazon Prime, and 5% for live pay-TV services. Adults ages 18-44 account for 65% of all with an online pay-TV service. Another 79% of online TV subs are very satisfied with their service — compared with 76% in 2020 and 69% in 2018. And 23% of all these services are shared by multiple households, including 7% of all services that are fully paid for by someone outside the household.

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