two-thirds of Netflix users are sharing their account with other people

As many as two-thirds of Netflix users are sharing their account with other people, according to research from GlobalWebIndex (GWI).

A study of 5,721 Netflix users, aged 16 to 64, in the U.S. and U.K. revealed that only 35 percent of subscribers claim to be sole users of their account.

Conversely, 30 percent share their account with one other person, 16 percent share their credentials with two others, and 19 percent with three others.

This study comes a few weeks after research from Parks Associates suggested that credential-sharing will cost the video-streaming service industry $500 million in direct revenues globally in 2015.

In Parks’ The Cost of Piracy report, figures show that six percent of U.S. broadband households use an over-the-top (OTT) video service that is paid by someone NOT living in the house.

Multiple screens

Netflix actively encourages multiple users of the same account with its “Standard” and “Premium” price plans. Those on the $8/month “Basic” plan can only watch on one screen at any given time, while those on the $9 and $12 plans can simultaneously watch 2 and 4 screens respectively.

With 65 million subscribers globally — two-thirds of whom are based in the U.S. — it’s easy to see how Netflix could be losing a lot of revenue by letting users pool their funds and share an account. But the video-streaming landscape is increasingly competitive, so the attitude so far seems to be more about encouraging people to use the service, with the hope they will eventually sign up to have full control over their own account.