Password Sharing Grows, Expected To Persist


It may be the media industry’s worst kept secret that a murky area of piracy persists -- streaming service subscribers sharing passwords with people who do not live in their households -- but a new consumer survey by the equity research team at Raymond James puts some dimension around it.

While the national survey is self-reported, about a third (32%) of Americans now acknowledge the behavior.

“Password sharing [is] up” and “Netflix over-indexes,” reads the analysts’ report, which goes on to note: “As long as content providers continue to allow rampant password sharing from their pay-TV distributors, we expect this will persist. We suspect it is a significant reason for the relatively stable level of pay-TV subscribers despite the fears of an imminent collapse in demand (i.e., families with adult children in multiple households or friends/roommates effectively splitting the bill and retaining access to the content). That said, it appears that password sharing is growing, with 20.4% sharing and 8.4% using passwords vs. the prior two survey averages of 15.6% and 8.4%, respectfully.”

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