Over the past few years, video streaming has turned into a billion-dollar industry, with Netflix at the forefront of what can only be described as a revolution in home entertainment. In fact, video streaming has become so popular that media heavyweights such as Disney, NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia are all about to throw their hat in the ring, along with industry outsiders such as Amazon and Apple who are already competing for streaming dollars.
While the future certainly looks bright for the streaming industry, things could look even better if it weren’t for the popular practice of password sharing, which is costing the industry billions in lost revenue every year. According to estimates from Parks Associates cited by Bloomberg, the U.S. pay-TV industry is set to lose $6.6 billion to account sharing and piracy this year, a figure that could rise to $9 billion by 2024.
According to Bloomberg, a group of companies including Netflix and HBO among others is ready to start cracking down on password sharing, discussing possible measures to keep subscribers from sharing their accounts with friends and relatives. In the past, Netflix has been relatively lenient towards the practice, with CEO Reed Hastings saying it is something “you have to learn to live with”, because the line between legitimate and illegitimate account sharing is fine. Now that competition in the streaming industry is heating up, that stance seems to have shifted, much to the chagrin of many free streamers around the world.