OPINION: Netflix password sharing catastrophe

It finally happened. I popped open a bag of buttery popcorn and plopped down on my couch to turn on my favorite streaming service, Netflix, when the bolded words I had been dreading appeared on the screen in front of me: A Netflix account is for people who live in the same location.

As someone who has been mooching off of their parents’ Netflix account since Netflix was born, I never had to pay the price for my main source of entertainment. 

I took it for granted, and I never appreciated what I had until it slipped through my fingers. 

When I first heard the rumor that Netflix was cracking down on password sharing by restricting subscribers from using one account for more than one household, a million questions circulated in my head.

Why now? What is the big deal with sharing a password? How would they know? 

I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept, other than wanting to see more dollar signs on their already massive paychecks. 

I thought we would mean more than that to Netflix. By we, I mean us broke college students sneaking into their parents’ accounts. 

Months flew by as I continued to freely binge anything I dreamed of on Netflix. From “Too Hot to Handle,” to “Tiny Home Nation,” and my personal favorite, “Bridgerton.” You name it, I watched it. I thought the rumor stayed a rumor, and never became a reality. 

That was until my roommate lost her Netflix about a week ago. I could read the disappointment on her face when she walked into the room that day. There was nothing she could do except hand over her own credit card. After all, she was nearing the end of “Grey’s Anatomy.” She simply had no choice. 

On the bright side, my account continued working. I felt privileged. I thought I had lucked out. I was a glitch in their system and I, single handedly, outsmarted Netflix. I very quickly fell off of my high horse, and was given the same notice the following week. 

However, I refuse to give Netflix what they want. They are confident that loyal subscribers who prefer Netflix over competitors like Hulu, HBO Max, and Disney plus, will fork over the cash with no hesitation. I am unlike the rest, and money is a little tight after I went over budget from a recent trip to TJ Maxx. 

With hindsight, I recognize that Netflix knows what they are doing. They’re likely doubling, potentially tripling their profits from consumer income. 

If they lose hundreds, even thousands of subscribers, they will not notice as they are drowning in a giant fountain of money. 

It’s tough news, but it taught me to appreciate the humble platforms in life such as Freevee and Tubi. 

Write to Mercedes Kauphusman at mercedes.kauphusman@mnsu.edu

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