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CES 2016: Netflix Is OK With Password Sharing
By Phillip Swann

Washington, D.C. (January 7, 2016) - Various studies, including one from Parks Associates, have shown that as many as one in five Americans use someone else's password to watch a streaming service without paying for it.

You would think those findings would greatly upset Netflix CEO Reed Hastings who would love some additional income to support his ever-growing original content division. But in a press conference held yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show, Hastings basically told consumers to share and share alike.

"We love people sharing Netflix whether they're two people on a couch or 10 people on a couch," Hastings said, smiling. "That's a positive thing, not a negative thing."

The Netflix chief explained that password sharing leads to more subscribers because people, particularly young people, eventually will want their own accounts.

"As kids move on in their life, they like to have control of their life, and as they have an income, we see them separately subscribe," Hastings told reporters. "It really hasn't been a problem."

Of course, it might be easy now for Hastings to be so sanguine about sharing because his company has more than 60 million subscribers worldwide and that number is growing rapidly.  But the executive makes a good point that college students do want more control of their lives after they graduate. Using Daddy's account suddenly becomes less cool and they want to subscribe to Netflix on their own.

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at or at 703-505-3064.

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