It’s been all over the news recently but Netflix has recently confirmed that they will be introducing charges to add multiple households to one account. One of the huge benefits (although against the rules) of owning a Netflix account is that you were able to share accounts and therefore be able to split costs although this did go against the terms of service. Now that Netflix is starting to crack down – what has changed their extremely lax policy around password sharing? Netflix used to even mention this aspect and make jokes about the seemingly popular trend:
So are there key industry insights to be found here now that Netflix has decided to crack down on this pursuit? Is the subscription model failing and looking to return to subscription-free services? We take a look into insights into the subscription model entertainment industry as well as what we may see in the future as well as why subscription-free TV is set to rise in the future.
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Why Has This U-Turn on the Subscription Model Occurred?
There’s no doubt that the sharing of accounts was against terms of service so have rules just been made to bring the policies up to scratch or is this to ensure that the subscription model reaches more individuals? There were over 221m subscribers in the year 2022 so strict rules may be implemented to add to the topline. But there are a number of other reasons as to why these changes may have been introduced which gives us a big insight into the market and where it could be heading:
- There’s no doubt that the streaming market was weakened by the Pandemic due to delays or cancellations in production meaning there were fewer incentives to subscribe for new shows or films.
- There’s a rise in competition in the sector. Disney+ and Prime Video have looked to produce different programmes and acquire franchises in order to compete with the giant. Discovery+ has also become a new competitor that is on the horizon and there are other competitors in major markets such as free services in the UK (ITV & BBC) and subscription-based such as Hulu in the US.
- Viewers want alternatives to subscription models. With rising costs of living – people are going to look for subscriptions and monthly payments that they can get rid of. With free platforms such as iPlayer and subscription-free TV – it’s not crazy to predict that the benefits of these platforms could outweigh paid services.
Current subscribers to Netlfix do not fear – the fee is currently in a test run in Chili, Peru & Costa Rica. But if it is successful – it’s likely to be rolled out to global viewers.
Subscription-Free TV Models – The Future?
We’ve touched upon it but if subscription models become more expensive and with rising costs – there’s no time like the present to switch from subscription TV to non-subscription TV. Granted streaming platforms provide you with a selective choice – many Freeview boxes and Smart TVs have the ability to simply enter your password – so you can choose which subscriptions you want if you so please and can also enjoy a wide variety of