Leichtman: 27% of Subscription Streaming Video Services Shared

More than a quarter (27%) of all subscription streaming video services are used in more than one household, according to new consumer research from Leichtman Research Group.

Younger consumers have more streaming video services (4.8) compared older demos, including four services among ages 45 to 54, and 2.5 services among ages 55 plus, according to the report.

The report found that 86% of U.S. households have at least one streaming video service, and 50% of households have four or more streaming video services. However, not all services are paid for directly by those who use them.

Indeed, while 68% of all services are fully paid for and are not shared with others outside the household, 27% of all services are used in more than one household.

About 13% of services are used and paid for by those that also share them with someone outside the household, while 12% are used in one household but are borrowed from another household that is paying for the service.

Another 2% of services are used by multiple households that share costs, while 5% are not paid for because they come with another service.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Among young viewers (18-34), 17% of all SVOD services are fully paid for by someone else — compared with 8% among ages 35 plus. The younger demo accounts for 55% of all services that are fully paid for by someone else.

Among SVOD services, 14% of Netflix users have the service fully paid for by someone else — compared with 13% for Max, and 12% for Hulu.

The report found that 22% of all online TV streaming services are shared by multiple households, including 8% of all services that are fully paid for by someone outside the household.

“Over one-quarter of all direct-to-consumer services are shared with others outside the household, including 12% of all streaming services that are ‘borrowed’ from someone else’s subscription,”  analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “Overall, 17% of households have at least one DTC service that is fully paid for by someone else.”

The data is based on an online survey of 3,501 households from throughout the United States.

Netflix Testing Shared Account Discount Pricing

Netflix has begun testing a new subscription plan that would enable subscribers to let non-subscriber friends share their account at a reduced price.

Dubbed “Extra Member,” the strategy is being tested in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru affording local $8.99 monthly basic plan, $12.99 standard plan and $15.99 premium plan subs the ability to include up to two nonsubscribers monthly access on their account for an additional $2.99 monthly fee. The plan also enables account holders to transfer user profiles.

Shared passwords are not new, with all SVOD services, not just Netflix, dealing with unauthorized account access worldwide. Netflix, until recently, had turned a blind eye to the situation, going so far as to suggest that shared passwords ultimately resulted in new subscribers.

“We love people sharing Netflix whether they’re two people on a couch or 10 people on a couch,” co-founder/co-CEO Reed Hastings said in 2016. “That’s a positive thing, not a negative thing.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Fast-forward to the present and Netflix has changed its tune. The streamer is looking for subscriber retention as North American and European sub growth cools. The streamer ended 2021 with about 222 million subs worldwide — up almost 9% from 204 million subs at the end of 2020.

Last year in an investor event, Netflix brass was asked about the company’s efforts to thwart password sharing. Hastings offered mixed signals, suggesting the service was taking steps to curb the practice, but without offending existing account holders.

“We will test many things, but we will never roll something out that feels like turning the screws,” Hastings said last year. “It has got to feel like it makes sense to consumers, that they understand.”