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Netflix’s CEO Was Requested About Cracking Down on Password Sharing. His Reply Was Pure Emotional Intelligence

Netflix has all the time taken a relaxed place on individuals sharing passwords. It was form of an unwritten rule that whereas the corporate did not outright condone it, it was wonderful with the truth that children went off to school and nonetheless used mother or dad’s account. It was one of many issues that made Netflix so well-liked and well-liked.

Then, in March, Netflix began testing a characteristic that might show a message should you tried utilizing an account outdoors of the proprietor’s dwelling. As reported on the time by Streamable, Netflix would inform customers “In the event you do not dwell with the proprietor of this account, you want your individual account to maintain watching.” Netflix will then immediate you to enter a code despatched to the account proprietor by way of e-mail or textual content, much like two-factor authentication.

That, as you possibly can think about, did not go over rather well. It felt like Netflix was on the point of crack down on one thing it had allowed for years. In truth, analysis from Magid exhibits that as many as a 3rd of all Netflix customers share their account passwords. That is loads of password sharing contemplating the streaming service had simply over 200 million subscribers firstly of the 12 months.

Now, nevertheless, Netflix has clarified its place. Extra particularly, its prime executives have been requested throughout an analyst name on Tuesday whether or not this amounted to “turning the screws” on individuals who have been freeloading on another person’s account.

“We’ll take a look at many issues, however we might by no means roll one thing out that looks like turning the screws,” Netflix’s Co-CEO, Reed Hastings stated in the course of the convention name

I suppose that is excellent news should you occur to be one of many individuals who nonetheless binge-watches Stranger Issues in your outdated roommate’s Netflix account. Extra importantly, nevertheless, Hastings’ response is a good instance of emotional intelligence for 2 causes. 

First, he did not deny that Netflix would possibly make it tougher to share passwords with individuals who do not dwell with you. Hastings is a great enterprise particular person and he is aware of that it is getting tougher and tougher for the corporate to develop. For instance, Netflix reported four million internet additions to its subscriber base within the final quarter, in contrast with 10 million throughout the identical time interval final 12 months. 

Even contemplating that final 12 months was an exception as a consequence of a surge in individuals watching streaming video whereas staying dwelling throughout Covid, the bigger you get, the tougher it’s to proceed rising on the similar tempo. Sooner or later, Netflix goes to wish all of these individuals sharing accounts to join one among their very own. Hastings is aware of this, which implies that the corporate will in all probability proceed to check methods to encourage individuals to enroll.

And but, he managed present he understands that the way you talk issues. Primarily his reply is “yeah, we’re in all probability going to maintain making an attempt issues, however everybody calm down, the streaming police should not going to knock in your door and ask you to your pockets. You already know us–we’re not like that.” 

And Netflix has by no means been like that. It is by no means tried to be the dangerous man. It is by no means tried to crack down on its prospects. 

At the same time as the corporate has usually raised its costs, that blow has been cushioned by the truth that it was nonetheless an excellent worth when you think about that Netflix allow you to basically distribute that value amongst a number of individuals. Even should you have been paying the invoice your self, understanding that your children have been additionally utilizing the account made it rather less painful each time Netflix began charging just a few {dollars} extra.

By framing his reply this fashion, Hastings reiterated that whereas Netflix is a enterprise, it additionally appreciates its prospects sufficient to not alienate them by making issues troublesome in pursuit of a fast buck. That is not solely good, it is an excellent instance of emotional intelligence. 

The opinions expressed right here by Inc.com columnists are their very own, not these of Inc.com.

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