Amid the much-hyped crackdown on password-sharing, the streaming giant is giving a lot of its subscribers a big price cut.
It’s been a strange last few months for Netflix and its subscribers. From curious decisions about its original programming to some fairly wild swings in the size of its subscriber base – shedding a million users in one quarter, gaining millions back in another – perhaps nothing has generated as much buzz as the streamer’s announced plans to put a stop to its users sharing their passwords.
From what we can tell, the widely reported yet selectively implemented crackdown by Netflix on users sharing passwords outside of their own households hasn’t really affected Malaysian subscribers – at least not yet. The rollout of the enforcement has only been in a few countries, presumably as a trial to see how the mechanics of the crackdown will actually work in the real world, and of course to gauge the financial impact of the whole thing.
But now, amid what is generally considered a fumbled exercise, both in execution and in overall public relations, Netflix is reportedly slashing its subscription fees in some three dozen countries.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the countries that will receive reduced subscription costs span the Middle East (Yemen, Jordan, Libya, and Iran), Eastern Europe (Croatia, Slovenia, and Bulgaria), Latin America (Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Venezuela), Kenya, and Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines). Yep, according to what’s been made public, Malaysia is set to be included in the list of countries benefiting from the price reduction.
The cuts are not the same amount or percentage across the board, but in some markets, the price reduction is reportedly amounting to half of the monthly subscription cost.
According to tech publication Gizmodo, the streaming giant’s decision to slash certain subscription fees comes at a time when Netflix is still deciding on a plan of attack to retain its user base. In the spring of 2022, Netflix revealed that its streaming service had lost 200,000 users in Q1 of the year while industry analysts had expected it to add 2.5 million users. However, Netflix did appear to turn things around later that year, at least according to its Q3 earnings report, when the company revealed it had gained 2.4 million subscribers.
Regardless of its fluctuating user base, Netflix has been re-evaluating its relationship with its customers. This past November, Netflix rolled out an ad-supported tier which was touted as costing less than an ad-free subscription. Basic With Ads, naturally, saw little fanfare upon release and was the least-accessed subscription tier for new subscribers in its first month.
Netflix has also been trying hard to rein in password sharing. At first, Netflix was unclear about the circumstances that surrounded its efforts to squash password sharing, which confused and frustrated users far and wide. Alas, limitations on account sharing are still full steam ahead as Netflix rolled out new password sharing rules, along with the option to pay for an outside user’s access, to four global markets earlier this month.
Netflix, which operates in more than 190 countries, has faced increased competition from streaming rivals including Amazon, HBO, and Disney.
Last year, the firm cut hundreds of jobs and launched a less expensive streaming option with adverts as it fought to grow its share of the increasingly competitive streaming market.
In January of this year, co-chief executive Greg Peters remarked on how Netflix planned to attract more subscribers.
“We want to make that spectrum even wider as we seek to serve more members around the world and trying to deliver appropriate value at those different price points,” Mr Peters said.
Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Gizmodo, BBC News
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