Streaming services know you're sharing passwords and they love it

Streaming services know you're sharing passwords and they love it

CultureJuly 12, 2017 By Isabelle Kohn

Let's be honest: the only reason you've ever watched anything on your computer ever is because you have your best friend's stepdad's podiatrist's HBO GO password.

It's "koolfeethotsummer69," in case any of you needed an in.

This is just the way things work when you're young and poor. You don't have $12.99 per month to watch The Handmaid's Tale. You don't even have $2.99 to stream an episode of fuckin' Ru Paul, which is seriously taking a toll on your health.

Well, join the club. A new Ipsos/Reuters survey found that over one-fifth of young adults aged 18-24 share passwords to watch shows on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and HBO. A smaller percentage of older adults have done the same (15 percent), although the amount of people who share passwords decreases as age — and savings accounts — increase.

But, you may have wondered during a wild night of assuming your best friend's stepdad's podiatrist's identity whether or not these streaming services are aware of your shenanigans. Why is it so easy for 14 people to watch Silicon Valley on Dr. Barry's account?

And do they even care? No they don't.

They don't give a shit.

According to Consumerist, many streaming networks have made it clear they both are aware of, and completely accept password sharing. They even encourage it.

In 2014, HBO's CEO Richard Plepler made a statement that password sharing wasn't a big deal for his company. In fact, it was a good thing. It actually increased revenue, he theorized — young people who share accounts with their parents and other older or richer folks are more likely to subscribe later in life.

Netflix agrees. CFO David Wells said at a Goldman Sachs conference last year that they could easily bust up password sharing rings, but it wouldn't necessarily increase subscription rates, so ... meh! Let them eat cake.

Effectively, your cheating these streaming services out of a few bucks will likely lead to you forking over some cash to them once you make assistant regional manager at Orange Julius. The whole point is to get you addicted to their services so you never give them up, and if they have to give you a free taste, so be it. It's the crack dealer's way.

Well, it's their loss. Industry analyst Parks Associates reports that providers who allow password sharing could lose a total of $550 million in revenue by 2019.

Let's just agree to keep that between us, though.

Season 6 of Veep, anyone?