For SVOD Services, Password Sharing Might Be More Common than You Think - eMarketer

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For SVOD Services, Password Sharing Might Be More Common than You Think

But those who do so may be willing to subscribe if necessary

August 30, 2017

Password sharing for subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services might be more common than you think. According to an August 2017 study from Morning Consult, 37% of US internet users share their password for at least one streaming service account, usually Netflix.

US Internet Users Who Share an Account for Digital Media Services*, by Demographic, Aug 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

The study found that 85% of respondents who shared passwords were handing over login information for their Netflix account.

Netflix was probably the most shared service because it remains the most popular. eMarketer predicts Netflix will have almost 142 million US viewers in 2021, representing 67.5% of over-the-top (OTT) video service users. That places it ahead of other SVOD services in both the number of viewers and share of market.

While less than 40% of all respondents in the Morning Consult study shared passwords for SVOD services, the rate was 56% for those ages 18 to 29, the highest of any age group. Cash-strapped millennials may be sharing at a higher rate in order to save money on subscriptions.

A June 2017 GenForward study of US millennials and their financial situation found that more than one in four of those ages 18 to 34 say that they spend more than they earn.

For those who either can’t or won’t dole out the money for a subscription, borrowing a password makes for an easy way to access online video content.

But there is evidence to suggest that the majority of password sharers could be converted into paying subscribers.

According to Morning Consult, about six in 10 users said they would subscribe to a streaming service on their own if they were unable to share an account with another person.

The number of SVOD subscribers is expected to increase. eMarketer estimates subscription OTT video viewers in the US will reach 164.6 million by 2021, up from 147.3 million this year.

Monica Melton


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