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Streaming giant Netflix announced plans earlier this year to curb password sharing, where multiple people use the same credentials to log in to an account. It said the widespread practice cuts into its revenue and announced plans to start banning accounts in March. The first data of the move’s consequences have now been revealed, showing that a million subscribers in Spain turned their backs on the platform.

Cause and Effect

According to the market research group Kantar, more than a million Spanish users canceled or failed to renew their Netflix subscriptions in the first three months of 2023. The mass exodus also stems from Netflix adding a $6 monthly fee to the regular price for those who shared their passwords with others. There are no statistics for users who opted to downgrade to Netflix Basic with ads.

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If the platform hopes to learn something from the demographics, Kantar says that will be difficult. “Interestingly, there is no strong demographic skew to those who canceled, signaling a more outright rejection of the password-sharing clampdown,” explains the report. Of those still paying the monthly subscription fee, about 10 percent indicate that they will cancel their plan in the next quarter – which isn’t good news for Netflix.

Where Are They Going?

Even though more than a million Spaniards have left Netflix, it doesn’t mean they are without entertainment. According to the data, the newly-launched Sky Showtime managed to sign up one in three Netflix subscribers in the first quarter of the year. Driving the growth was an aggressive launch campaign, where Sky offered them the service for half the price.

Ex-Netflix subscribers are also flocking to Amazon’s streaming service, capturing about 34 percent of the market in Spain. “Well over half of lost Netflix users in the quarter held a Prime Video subscription, meaning Amazon remains well placed to see a gain in engagement over the coming quarters,” Kantar says.

If the Spanish market trends are anything to go by, it seems that Netflix could be fighting an uphill battle when the password-sharing bans start appearing in North America.

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