Roughly 1 in 10 adults said they don’t subscribe to Netflix but use the password of someone who lives outside of their home to access the streaming service, according to a Morning Consult poll released Thursday, days after it was announced the company has lost 200,000 subscribers this year, it’s first subscriber drop in a decade.
The amount of people who don’t subscribe to Netflix but use the password of someone outside of their home who does translates to 28 million people, Morning Consult estimates.
Almost 30% of respondents said they subscribe to Netflix and don’t share their password with anyone else, compared to 17% who said they subscribe and share their password with someone they live with, 6% who don’t subscribe and use the password of someone who lives with them with and 4% who subscribe and share their password with someone they don’t live with.
Baby Boomers are the worst offenders of out-of-home password sharing, with 16% of respondents in this age group saying they don’t subscribe and use the password of someone who doesn’t live with them; 9% of millennials and Gen-Xers said they do this, 7% of Gen-Zers said they do.
Over half of respondents (52%) said they would consider subscribing to their own account if they couldn’t share one with someone else. Over 50% of respondents said they would not pay extra to be allowed to share their password with someone who lives outside their home.
Morning Consult conducted the survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults from April 15 to 17.
100 million. That’s how many households Netflix estimates are using borrowed passwords, including 30 million in the U.S. and Canada. Netflix said this week it has 222 million paying households. Sharing an account with someone who lives outside a user’s household goes against Netflix’s terms of service, though this issue had gone unaddressed for years.
Tuesday’s report marked the first time Netflix lost subscribers in 10 years. After the news broke, shares of its stock plunged 35%. Netflix launched a test in March in three countries to monetize out-of-household password sharing. Users in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru have the option to pay a $2-$3 additional fee to share their account with someone who does not live with them. If this program were adopted globally, Netflix could generate $1.6 billion annually, according to estimates from Cowen & Co. analysts, Variety reported last month. On a call with shareholders Tuesday, Co-CEO Reed Hastings said a similar program may be launched in other markets. Netflix said Tuesday it estimates to lose 2 million subscribers this quarter. Netflix also said it is exploring offering an ad-supported but lower-priced subscription.