God Save Us: Netflix Is Cracking Down On Account Sharing
Apparently, Netflix is struggling. They’ve lost around 200,000 subscribers over the last quarter, probably due to the $1-2 price hike they implemented in January. The thing about price hikes on any subscription service is that it truly doesn’t matter how insignificant the change in price is. You’ve already violated the number one rule in the subscription business, which is: never remind someone that they’re subscribed to something. Many of the deactivated accounts are likely just accounts people forgot they had, or belong to somebody’s aunt that’s been cremated for 6 months.
Whatever the cause, Netflix is now scrambling to find a way to boost their profits back up. This has taken them to a very dark, dangerous option. They are now standing in front of the nuclear option of Netflix. A bright red box stands mounted on the wall before them, a sheet of glass and a small silver hammer, marked only for use in the direst of emergencies. They shield an ominous switch, one that, once thrown, begins a process that cannot be reversed. The process of actually finding out who is using whose Netflix account.
I understand their frustration. I do. To know that your service is being freeloaded with abandon across the world, to feel the money slipping through your fingers. But it’s gone too far now. The roots are too deep. To trace the origins of everyone’s Netflix account now is like tracing the swirling roots of Yggdrasil, the World Tree. It’s a mystery best left unsolved.
To come in now, to cleave your sword through this Gordian Knot like Alexander the Great, feels like a threat to the balance of the entertainment universe. A great disturbance in leisure, thousands of episodes of Criminal Minds suddenly silenced. Who knows what evils are trapped in the twists and turns of 10-user Netflix accounts, that you might finally free?
But it is inevitable. Netflix has made the choice. The invisible fibers of password sharing that ran beneath and between our lives for years will be severed. The process will be begun, and the screens will go black. God help us all.