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People can't seem to quit Netflix after all

Netflix's password crackdown had a very unexpected result.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

The dreaded Netflix password-sharing crackdown has started in the United States, and in surprising news, the early numbers aren't bad for the streaming giant. In fact, they're good. Really good. 

While the general social media sentiment of users seemed to be "if I can't use a shared password, I'm not watching anymore," early numbers indicate that people may need the service more than they say.

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On both May 26 and May 27, shortly after Netflix began shutting down freeloaders in America, the service saw more than 100,000 new signups a day. Adding in the two days after that, the streamer saw its four single biggest days of customer acquisition in more than four years -- even bigger than the Covid-19 lockdown boon.

That data comes courtesy of streaming analytics company Antenna.

It's worth noting that cancellations were in fact higher than usual during this window, too, but customers coming in far outpaced those leaving. Netflix noted the same pattern of "some subscriber losses but larger gains" in other markets where the crackdown was initiated earlier this year, like Canada, Spain, Portugal, and New Zealand.

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While Netflix is still the biggest name in the game, the password crackdown comes at a time when the giant is feeling pressure in an ever-crowded streaming market. 

Since its inception, Netflix has essentially turned a blind eye to the practice of password sharing, content with the fact that people who weren't paying were still watching shows and growing the platform. But as that number ballooned to upwards of 100 million homes according to company estimates, it was time for the streamer to chase down some of that lost revenue

Users who still do want to share their account with someone outside their household can officially add one additional viewer per account for $7.99 a month, about half the price of that person getting their own subscription.

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