r/technology Feb 03 '23

Netflix says strict new password sharing rules were posted in error Business


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u/r3dk0w Feb 03 '23 All-Seeing Upvote

They already sell in streams, where the normal package gets 2 streams and the premium package gets 4 streams.

Why do they care that 2 streams are used when that's what the package allows?

If they don't want password sharing, then limit the lower-end package to 1 stream. Then it doesn't matter how much password sharing is going on.


u/Wildcard36qs Feb 03 '23

This is what baffles me. I'm paying for 4 streams, who cares where they are used?


u/GeT_Tilted Feb 03 '23

They care about growth. They know that their sub numbers will reach a hard limit soon. So they bet on people using other's account may convert into a paying sub when the restrictions go live. They did not expect the public to call for cancellations or piracy so they changed course to appear better in the public's eye.


u/roboninja Feb 03 '23

They did not expect the public to call for cancellations or piracy

Then they are not as smart as people like to assume they are.


u/UrbanGhost114 Feb 03 '23

I have found that just because they make more money, or have a "higher"position, they don't necessarily deserve either. It doesn't make them smarter, it makes them better bullshitters.


u/No_Flounder_9859 Feb 04 '23

Boycotts are the only things American corporations and Americans really understand. It’s the best, hands down, form of protest. If money controls, stop the flow.


u/WhyNotJustMakeOne Feb 04 '23

Honestly, this is one of those business decisions that just baffles me. For the simple reason of how easy it is to see coming. Did the executives not do market research before making this call? Or did they know it would be an unpopular decision based on feedback, but underestimated the response? It feels like the classic 'business thinks they know better than their customers do' line of thought.

I always think of a product like the Dragonball Evolution movie: It was an abomination from the perspective of fans, and it failed to even present an entertaining plot for non-fans. Managers, writers, production team... did they ALL really think it was a good idea?


u/alurkerhere Feb 04 '23 edited Feb 04 '23

I'll tell you exactly what they did. They ran pilots in South America and used results and media mentions to build models to apply to the broad population segments in the US using analytics and data science. The results said a net positive of a certain amount after announcement and then after implementation of said rules in 2 phases.

Ok, so now that the analytics division says it's good (executives asked for this analysis), product managers greenlight the decision with executives and notify engineering and customer service teams. They soft roll it the same way they had pivoted very positively when they announced the split into 2 different services with Qwikster in 2011.

Turns out, maybe the US doesn't correlate so well to South American countries in this instance. Cancellations go up, US media is much more negative towards the move. You recalculate models to incorporate the data and predict bad results at this point. You backtrack at this point without implementing the service, and then figure out if you can roll it out later, or modify the service and plan pilots in other countries.


u/WhyNotJustMakeOne Feb 04 '23

Wow. I wasn't aware of that background information. That's actually pretty interesting! And strange, from a psychological perspective. I wonder what it is that makes the US public react more negatively that the South American public.

Personally, I haven't sat down and watched TV in like a decade. I torrented a lot in college. It wasn't until COVID hit that I actually got Netflix. My job had me working from home for months, and I liked having documentaries or Great British Bake-Off or murder shows or whatever on my second screen as background noise. There wasn't much else on Netflix that interested me, but my Mom and Sister both used it for a couple of years, so I kept the account. Tried watching their new comedy specials, just wasn't doing it for me. Then all this anti-sharing shit came out. Realized I (and my family) didn't watch it enough to warrant keeping the service so I dropped it.

Really, the whole debacle just seems self-destructive on their part, intentionally removing their greatest selling point. It's like Pizza Hut deciding they will no longer do deliveries/allow UberEats pickups/whatever. The fact it's delivered hot and ready is a big part of the appeal... Just like account sharing is a big part of the appeal for Netflix.

That might be a tortured comparison, but hopefully you get what I mean.


u/Arrasor Feb 04 '23

Most people are paid to do a project, whether that project prove successful or not is someone else's problem. Be that managers, writers, production team... all the same. They are paid to realize someone else's vision, as long as that person pay and approve, whatever bullshits go.


u/WhyNotJustMakeOne Feb 04 '23

That makes sense. I always try to understand people's motivations and thought processes when making weird decisions like this.


u/Arrasor Feb 04 '23

Think of it like a side project you do that you know you ain't gonna put into your portfolio, purely for some income. When I'm on those, I entertain any and all weird ideas lol.


u/R3tro956 Feb 03 '23

They have been showing they have no idea how to run the company by green lighting absolute trash, cancelling all the good shows, and pissing off all of their subscribers while the competition runs circles around them


u/roninPT Feb 04 '23

"we didn't expect you guys to do the obvious"