Rwandans React to Netflix’s Ban On Password Sharing

The popular tagline “Netflix and Chill” has gradually been embedded into a variety of lifestyles with watch parties and more. However, the streaming site’s decision to ban password sharing hasn’t been welcomed with open arms, despite being an arguably good business choice.

The New Times spoke to a couple of Netflix users in Rwanda who expressed their disdain for the ban on password sharing.

“I’ve been enjoying movies on Netflix for the better end of four years, and I am not enthusiastic about not being able to use my sister’s account, so I’ll start using torrents to get movies instead,” says Eric Abayo.

“Netflix has the best quality movies and shows but I guess I’ll have to revert to other platforms for entertainment thanks to the password-sharing ban,” Daniella Hope reiterates.

How it escalated

Password sharing for Netflix began in 2019 and has gradually become a common occurrence, especially during the lockdown era.

A while back, Netflix tweeted, “Love is sharing a password” and with this ban on password sharing, it’s clear that they no longer feel the same way. Password sharing will only be limited to those that live together which Netflix intends to enforce by tracking IP addresses, starting in 2023.

Netflix initially intended to put an end to this practice when it first broke out in 2019 but the lockdown era paved way for more to subscribe to the streaming site, delaying the implementation of this decision because of the considerably high viewership they had gained at the time.

Despite their increased customer base, registered subscribers are considerably less than overall viewership, a fact that is adequately reflected by records revealing that over 100 million users are piggyback riding from borrowed accounts they got from family members or friends.

Netflix’s overall revenue

Netflix’s revenue from the United States and Canada equates to $3.35 billion which constitutes a 5.6% year-on-year increase.

Netflix’s revenue from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa accounts for 33% of the overall revenue which is $2.56 billion with a 9.3% year-on-year increase.

Accounting for 13% of Netflix’s quarterly revenue is Latin America whose revenue amounted to $999 million in 2022 with an increased of 19.4% compared to the previous year.

While Netflix’s show of good will has played a significant role in building a solid customer base, the million-dollar question is whether this password-sharing ban will undo all the progress.


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