Until very recently, password sharing has not really been a major issue – at least not publicly. However, this seems to have changed as Netflix recently took it upon itself to combat password sharing. This coincides with a maturing market and fewer households left to sign up. And, of course, with fierce competition over stacking households. Mediavision has looked at how widespread this phenomenon is in the Nordics, as well as its consequences.
To no surprise, with a maturing market and flattening growth, Mediavision reports that most SVoD players will analyse stricter password sharing policies as a potential revenue source. So, how severe is this issue in the Nordics?
Figures from Mediavision tell quite a grim story from the players’ perspective. Looking at all SVoD services, across all Nordic countries, up to 40 per cent admit to sharing a password to a standalone SVoD service with someone outside the household. Shared passwords are especially common among the young, as high as up to 60 per cent among 15-24. Sharing also clearly increases with stacking – the higher stacking, the more sharing.
Focussing specifically on Netflix, the service seems to be representative of the general password sharing in the Nordics – with approximately 40 per cent of subscribing households sharing passwords outside the household.
To further enlighten the magnitude, Mediavions figures show that if all Nordic households sharing an SVoD service instead were to pay, approximately an additional €250 million would (theoretically) have been added to total revenues for the full year 2020. On the other hand, it could well be argued that sharing has been one of the reasons for the very quick transformation of the market by (unintentionally) enabling additional potential subscribers ease of access, and thereby increasing awareness. So far this seems to have served SVoD services well. But times could be changing.