In case you hadn’t heard, Netflix has begun implementing the end of password sharing for its streaming service. That’s right, you can finally delete the message thread with your ex. The days of scabbing off their logins are over. As the streaming giant begins its rollout of what has to be the greatest dog act of all time, many of us are left wondering — is Netflix even worth it?
Password sharing has become ubiquitous with content streaming. We can all admit to fanging our password out to mates or family at some point, and maybe you’ve even got a strategic sharing setup going on to spread the cost of the best streaming services.
Netflix now stipulates that accounts can only be shared within households, which means if you want your own login, you’ll need to pay for it yourself. It remains to be seen how many users will succumb to Netflix’s demands, but as the rollout continues, it’ll be interesting to see whether those who have lost second-hand access end up signing up for their own account.
Netflix’s midlife crisis serves as an important reminder to consider whether you’re actually getting the use out of your streaming services. What began as one or two subscriptions has spun into a smorgasbord of content hubs, each pocketing a monthly fee out of your hard-won cash.
While Netflix and its peers might have seemed like the central force of the earth during lockdown or when you were laid up in bed with the flu, it’s worth asking yourself how often you’re actually using all these services.
Streaming businesses love membership models because it means recurring revenue. This allows them to have greater visibility over potential future income. And sure, when they’re pumping out new content that we have access to, it makes sense that we pay for that.
But has it gone too far? And how much revenue is a result of users simply ignoring their subscription or forgetting they’re even paying for it?
You know the routine. You sign up again because there’s a show you want to watch. You say you’ll cancel it, but you don’t because you’ve got that weekend away coming up, so you say you’ll cancel it after that, but you forget. And suddenly it’s four years later, and you can’t face canceling because you’ve gotten so used to having the option.
With the cost of living rising, it’s time to be ruthless with our streaming services. Here are some ways you can audit and optimize your streaming expenses:
Emma Edwards is a finance copywriter and blogger, on a mission to humanize the financial services industry by creating meaningful content that’s accessible and empowering. You’ll find her penning money tips at her blog, The Broke Generation, sharing financial insights on Instagram, or injecting life into content for her business clients.