Nearly 10 million people freeload off their friends and relatives' Netflix accounts, according to Bloomberg. But all that is about to change once the online video service finds ways to beef up its revenue.
Bloomberg says that could mean anything from charging people who share their account extra to putting restrictions on how many devices can access an account simultaneously.
“It’s time to change,” Michael Pachter, a Wedbush Securities analyst in Los Angeles, told Bloomberg. “They can say they’re cracking down on piracy. They can appeal to fairness. It’s great if the parent has a subscription and the kid watches it in the college dorm.”
Netflix is wary of raising prices after losing 800,000 customers in the third quarter of 2011 when it hiked the cost of combined streaming and DVD-by-mail service to $15.98 a month from $9.99, says Bloomberg. However, the company could try to charge parents for children's programming or offer a greater variety of plans tailored to individual accounts.
For now at least, subscribers can anticipate a robust stable of content. With the goal of reaching 90 million subscribers in the next two decades, Netflix has agreed to spend $5.3 billion on original programming and exclusives.