All I want for Christmas is your Netflix password. Well, that may be getting tougher.
The days of "What's your HBO Go password?" could be coming to an end. A cable television executive wants to crack down on password sharing.
Charter Communications CEO Tom Rutledge is leading an industry-wide push to stop consumers from sharing their streaming log-in credentials with non-paying customers who want to stream content like the latest "Game of Thrones" or "The Walking Dead," for free.
can someone be so kind to give me there hbo go log in tryna watch game of thrones.— palmtrees (@ImaniTsunami) August 25, 2017
"There’s lots of extra streams, there’s lots of extra passwords, there’s lots of people who could get free service,” Rutledge said at an industry conference this month, according to a Bloomberg report.
The CEO has said an unknown channel owner once had 30,000 simultaneous streams from a single account.
Password sharing has become so common that it could eventually cost pay-TV companies billions of dollars in revenue. Cable and satellite carriers are losing money as three million customers cut the cord this year alone, a trend that is expected to continue on with more and more people opting to subscribe to cheaper online rivals.
I'm the one who pays for the Netflix account and it has the cheek to tell me "too many people watching try again later" when I go to log in? RUDEEEEE— Jade Foster (@jade_fosterx) December 4, 2017
Some companies, like ESPN, have cut down on the number of simultaneous streams on a single account in an effort to address the problem.
Bloomberg also found that about one-third of internet users stream cable TV without paying for it by swapping sign-ins and using credentials of someone they don’t live with, according to Parks Associates.
The TV industry is expected to lose $9.9 billion by 2021 from $3.5 billion this year, the research firm estimates.