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Netflix: Cracking Down on Password Sharing

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hofstra chapter.

Consuming media is a coping mechanism for many people and they use it to deal with stress. One of the most stressful times of a person’s life is going to college, if they choose to, and streaming movies and TV help them feel less alone. Many times it involves connecting to characters, and finding some similar to them. Other times people latch on to characters they want to be more like. College is the first experience when people are first thrust into the real world, but without the adult budget. 

A frustrating situation, not just for college students, but for people everywhere is the no household sharing rule that is emerging from Netflix and HBO Max. Netflix was the first streaming platform to crack down on those sharing passwords outside of the house. Although their move might make sense from a business perspective, they fail to recognize the issues involved with this. Some people may not be able to afford Netflix any longer due to the raised fees. They fail to account for those who may live separately from their family, and those doing long distance due to work. Not only would these people have to pay for a separate account or an extended profile, but each time they would go on a work trip or vacation they would need to verify it.

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College students in particular become very stressed due to exams, completing homework, and other activities they may be involved in. Watching TV and movies is an outlet for many people, not just a way to pass the time. Many people are studying to work in the media field and use these streaming platforms as a way to inspire them. I use Netflix and Hulu as a way to decompress at night or as a fun distraction as I get ready in the morning. Netflix forcing these students off of their family’s accounts means that they will be losing those customers in particular. College students are on a strict budget, usually having to take out loans to be able to go to school in the first place. Netflix is not affordable, specifically when paying for it alone, on a college budget. Although I can see why they have implemented this rule, it is decreasing viewership for their TV and movies due to the lack of loyalty from their patrons. Many of the people who used to watch Netflix, no longer do so because they either cannot afford it or are angry with the situation. 

This crackdown on password sharing has created unity across social media. In May of 2023, TikTok users began posting angrily in hopes that this system would be reversed. Instead, many people have decided that they will not give in to Netflix and buy their accounts but find other ways to watch TV. If other platforms, like Hulu and Disney Plus, continue along the same track as Netflix, there is going to be a wide decrease in membership and streaming. Instead of focusing on location, Netflix should instead have a pay-for profile feature. This would allow families to have enough profiles for everyone, and even if family members are across the country, (whether they live there or are just visiting), they would still have a way to watch and enjoy television and movies. 

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Joanna Dugroo

Hofstra '26

Joanna is a sophomore music business student studying at Hofstra University on Long Island. She has a passion for pop culture, music, reading, and theatre!