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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Has No Problem With Members Sharing Their Passwords

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Ever ask around to get access to a Netflix account after your free trial expired and ended up getting your sibling's friend's mother's password? Well, you no longer have to feel guilty about dodging the $9.99 monthly subscription fee to binge-watch your favorite Netflix series.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show last week in Las Vegas that he has no problem with users sharing their passwords.

The big announcement during Netflix's press conference at CES was its huge global launch in several countries, but Hastings also made comments about password-sharing that fell under the radar.

"We love people sharing Netflix," Reed said. "That's a positive thing, not a negative thing."

However, he didn't really speak on the issue of members sharing their account info with friends. His comments were aimed at family password-sharing, saying that it doesn't matter if there are "two people on a couch or 10 people on a couch." At the end of the day, it's more people being exposed to the platform's content, which, in turn, could gain new subscribers.

"As kids move on in their life, they like to have control of their life, and as they have an income, we see them separately subscribe," Hastings said. "It really hasn't been a problem."

His logic could be applied to friends of friends who share accounts, with the possibility that they might sign up for themselves one day.

Hastings' stand on password-sharing is similar to the beliefs of HBO's CEO Richard Plepler, who previously revealed that, while the company pays attention to password sharing statistics for its streaming apps HBO GO and HBO Now, it chooses to turn a blind eye because he sees it as a form of marketing.

"It's not that we're unmindful of it, it just has no impact on the business," Plepler said. "It is, in many ways, a "terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers. We're in the business of creating addicts."

While some people have no problem borrowing Netflix account information from people they know, others may wonder if password-sharing violates the streaming platform's terms or if it is illegal.

Netflix's terms of use doesn't specify its rules on password-sharing, but it's important to keep in mind that, depending on the plan the member signs up for, they are paying for the ability to watch on two or four screens (for an additional $2) at the same time and on multiple devices.

Source: Tech Crunch

Photo: Markus Henkel | Flickr

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