Netflix Inc. reported a drop in subscriber numbers in the first quarter, losing a net 0.2 million streaming customers for a total of 221.64 million worldwide at the end of March.
The streaming platform said its main challenge for membership growth is continued soft acquisition across all regions.
Netflix informed that in addition to its 222 million paying households, it estimates that the streaming service is being shared with over 100 million additional households.
“Account sharing as a percentage of our paying membership hasn’t changed much over the years, but, coupled with the first factor, means it’s harder to grow membership in many markets – an issue that was obscured by our Covid growth,” the company noted.
Netflix said it is planning to pause password sharing outside a single household by charging users extra for doing so.
Netflix said it will launch and test two new features in select markets, where members will have to pay an additional $2 to $3 for sharing their passwords with people outside their homes.
Similarly, Multichoice Group said from March 22, subscribers will be “limited to streaming DStv on one device at a time”.
“Password sharing and piracy are challenges for streaming providers globally,” MultiChoice said adding that:
“As part of our ongoing efforts to counteract password sharing and piracy, while continuing to bring you the best viewing experience, we will be introducing measures to limit concurrent streaming. From 22 March 2022 customers will be limited to streaming DStv on one device at a time. They will still be able to watch previously downloaded content on a second device.”
Netflix’s revenue in the first quarter reached $7.78 billion. The net cash generated by operating activities in Q1 was $923 million.