Netflix CEO Reed Hastings isn’t all too worried about people sharing their passwords with strangers. “We really don’t think that there is much going on of the ‘I’m going to share my password with a marginal acquaintance,’” Hastings said during the company’s Q1 2013 earnings call.
Hastings was asked about password sharing after Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter had estimated in a Bloomberg story from Monday that as many as 10 million people may be watching Netflix without paying, suggesting that the company may start to crack down on the practice.
Hastings said that sharing passwords with extended family members is “not what we would consider appropriate,” but he added that most of the account sharing would happen within the immediate family — something that Netflix wants to make easier with the introduction of both personalized profiles as well as a more expensive family plan.
Personalized profiles that will allow family members to maintain separate queues and get more personal recommendations will launch internationally within the coming months, the company announced Monday. Netflix has been testing these personalized profiles since the beginning of the year, and Hastings said Monday that the response has been positive. “The key use case is between kids and parents,” he explained, adding that parents have told the company in the past that their experience is suboptimal.
The company also announced Monday that it will launch a new $12 a month family plan that will allow users to stream up to four devices at a time, as opposed to the current two-device streaming limit. However, the company doesn’t expect a huge response to this offering, with Hastings saying Monday that he expect fewer than one percent of subscribers to jump on the offering.