Netflix’ successful crackdown on password-sharing and what it means for Nigerian users

Godfrey Elimian
May extend password-sharing clampdown to Nigeria, Africa following success

Netflix’s clampdown on password-sharing accounts in the US seems to be paying off if recent data is anything to go by. Hence, the streaming giant may soon extend that clampdown to Nigeria and every one of its subscribers on the African continent.

According to data from research firm Antenna, on May 26 and 27, just days after Netflix began notifying its U.S. customers of changes regarding password sharing, the streaming service received almost 100,000 sign-ups on each of those two days.

Meanwhile, during the period from May 25 through May 28, daily sign-ups averaged 73,000, marking a 102% increase from the prior 60-day average.

In April, the streaming giant informed subscribers, particularly in the U.S. that it will begin cracking down on U.S. viewers who share someone else’s account from Q2 after it beat Wall Street earnings estimates for the first quarter but offered a lighter-than-expected forecast.

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The company informed customers that anyone outside their household who had access to their account would need to be added as an extra user for $8 per month, or get their own subscription.

Since then, Netflix has seen the four single largest days of U.S. sign-ups since January 2019, when Antenna started gathering such data. According to the data, this was more than the spikes in subscriber sign-ups recorded during the initial U.S. COVID-19 lockdowns in March and April 2020 when people were staying in more and turning to streaming services to fill their time.

Antenna reported that although there were more sign-ups for Netflix during the May 25–28 period, cancellations also rose. It also noted that the ratio of sign-ups to cancellations after May 23 had grown by 25.6% compared to the prior 60 days.

Following a successful trial in many Latin American nations last year, Netflix expanded to other nations like Canada, New Zealand, and Spain before launching in the U.S. last month.

Read also: Netflix to crack down on password-sharing from Q2 2023

What Netflix’s clampdown means for African Subscribers

In April, Netflix predicted that its revenues and growth would even be boosted further by the plans to charge customers involved in password-sharing in the second half of the year. This was after previously shifting plans to launch a crackdown on unsanctioned password-sharing accounts.

“We believe it will result in a better outcome for our members and our business,” the company said. Netflix also said it was “on track to meet our full-year 2023 financial objectives.”into the second quarter.

Given the success in the U.S. in terms of customer signups, Netflix will undoubtedly aim to add more users or increase its revenue through the additional fee on such accounts. Although the company now costs $8 for each additional user in the United States, users in Africa may pay a lesser amount.

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Netflix to crack down on password-sharing accounts in Q2, 2023

If there is one thing Nigerians and the rest of Africa should be bracing up for in the coming months, it is increased subscription costs. To maintain its projected revenue trajectory, Netflix might raise subscription prices in the coming months if it is deciding against going after shared accounts in Africa.

If this happens, it could become more expensive for African users, including Nigerians, to subscribe to Netflix, making it less accessible to some.

But, a shift towards local alternatives could be this continent’s biggest benefit. Local streaming platforms in Africa and Nigeria might receive more attention if accessing Netflix becomes more difficult or expensive. This might lead to a rise in demand and expansion of regional content suppliers.

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