Sharing login information for various streaming services has always been an unspoken subtext of account ownership. Twenty-somethings may share info with roommates and split the cost, or an older Millennial allows their parents access in order for them to be able to watch the newest bleak Scandanavian crime drama. No matter the combination, it appears that Netflix is going to make this sort of account-sharing harder in the coming months.
And what we see is fascinating. Among Netflix users, respondents are closely split between being the sole user of an account (28%), or having one (36%) or two or more (36%) users using the same account.
But since last year, we see a dramatic drop in one account being shared between two or more people from 46% to 36%. Meanwhile, the overall percentage of individual account users has risen slightly from 21% to 28%.
The only things to stay relatively flat, it seems, are people who have an account and don’t share it, and those who only share an account with one person. Perhaps those who are single or living with just one person haven’t changed their life situations much over the last year or so, and therefore, haven’t changed their Netflix situations either.
Regardless of the reason why, a full 70% of Netflix watchers over the last month report paying for the full cost of their accounts, as opposed to 22% that mooch off someone else.
This data represents a slight shift upward for those that pay for the full cost of an account – from 63% in 2018 to 67% in 2021 – mirroring the drop in account sharers from 31% three years ago, to 23% currently.
But who are these moochers, as some like to call them?
In large part, it’s the youngest age demographics that share and don’t pay for their own accounts. This makes sense, as many of those in this age range are likely still using their parents’ accounts. In the next age group up however, over one-third (34%) of respondents report mooching off someone else’s account. Some of this might still be adult children using a parent’s account, but there is also an increased likelihood that users are signing in to a roommate’s, partner’s, or friend’s account.
These numbers have, in fact, shifted only slightly across age demographics over the last year.
Interestingly, it’s not mostly parents of adult or teenage children that are sharing their accounts, it’s again the youngest age groupings.
Perhaps surprisingly, this generosity with personal streaming accounts is nearly identical across all income groupings.
Age seems to be the key point that determines how likely someone is to share and / or mooch an account. Perhaps there is a larger implication here about the nature of sharing among Millenials and Gen Zers.
In any case, it turns out that only about 6% of the general population use or have used the login information of an ex-romantic partner to keep watching their favorite TV binges. Another 10% state that they would do this, given the opportunity.
And this data falls along predictable age demographics.
So perhaps this demonstrates less of a lesson on sharing among Millenials and Gen Zers, and more implies the nature of taking what you can get when you can get it.
CivicScience will continue to provide updates as Netflix and other streaming services begin to crack down on account sharing.