Exclusive Survey: What Hollywood Really Thinks of Netflix’s Password Crackdown 

Netflix lock
Illustration: Cheyne Gateley/VIP+

Note: This article is an offshoot of VIP+’s special report “The New Face of Content Piracy,” available exclusively to subscribers.

Hollywood is clicking thumbs down on Netflix’s new crackdown on password sharing. 

More than half of those who work in the entertainment business disagree with the streaming service’s new policy, according to an exclusive new “What Is Hollywood Thinking?” poll, conducted last week by YouGov in partnership with Variety Intelligence Platform. 

Strong disagreement was far and away the biggest sentiment to emerge from the survey, to the tune of 38%. In stark contrast, only 8% strongly agreed with Netflix’s move. YouGov surveyed 640 U.S. adults working in the film, TV and music businesses to gauge sentiment among industry professionals.

Netflix launched the paid-sharing tests in three Latin American countries last year and expanded the rollout last week in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain. The “buy an extra member” option in those four countries allows subscribers on the streamer’s Standard or Premium plan to add an extra member sub-account for either one or two people they don’t live with — each with a profile, personalized recommendations, login and password.

The YouGov/VIP+ survey indicates there’s substantial doubt that preventing account sharing will boost streaming services’ subscriber tallies. Only 12% of showbiz respondents expect an increase in the subscriber total as a result of any kind of crackdown. Nearly three times as many went as far as suggesting it will have the opposite effect, while 32% expect it will have no effect at all. 

It’s not that the respondents felt there is something unjustified about streaming services limiting password sharing in general; in actuality, they seemed to take issue with how Netflix is choosing to handle the situation. More respondents said streaming services were right (46%) than wrong (38%) to attempt to limit password sharing.

Hollywood seems to think sharing login information should be permitted, with 57% surveyed supportive of that strategy, while 30% disagreed. Another 57% thought password sharing should be restricted to those in the subscriber’s household.  

No other streaming services besides Netflix have disclosed plans to limit password sharing.

VIP+ fielded a related survey last June that found a significant majority of Netflix subscribers would pay a higher price to continue sharing their password. But there is skepticism that the shift will boost Netflix subscribers coming off a year in which the streaming service experienced its first-ever quarterly loss.

Aluma Insights Media Research estimated that Netflix lost $9.1 billion to password-sharing in 2021, far and away more than any of its rival streaming services.