Netflix has confirmed it is keeping an eye on people who share accounts on its service.

In a video posted to the Netflix Investor Relations YouTube channel, chief product officer Greg Peters said the company was monitoring the situation, which could see one account being shared across devices in different households.

"We're looking at the situation," he said.

"We're looking at some consumer-friendly ways to push at the edge of that."


The big, scary numbers in Netflix's third-quarter result
Netflix's Game of Thrones level gaffe: A scene in Reign shows a character wearing Everlast boxers
Blockbuster's 'crazy, doomed' Netflix meeting that ruined video chain
Netflix seeks to disrupt the world of high-end film with 'The Irishman'

Peters did, however, stop short of elaborating on the details of what this might entail, saying: "We've got no big plans to announce at this time in terms of doing something differently there."

The challenge Netflix faces in clamping down on shared accounts is that any move it makes might alienate users currently on the platform.

Adding further complexity to this problem is the company's growing debt load from investing in content creation.

According to the company's latest financials, long-term debt ballooned from a year ago, expanding from US$10.4 billion to US$12.4b.

Netflix says its costs to buy, produce and license content will be around US$15 billion this year (around US$8billion of which will be on original content) from US$12 billion in 2018 and it will spend another US$2.9 billion on marketing.

That means it outspends every other streaming service on the planet, and every TV broadcaster bar sports specialist ESPN.

Netflix has been able to assuage investor concerns on the back of rapid growth - but this will eventually slow down.


The company reported Wednesday that it grew worldwide subscribers by 6.8 million in the third quarter, a number basically consistent with analysts' expectations of some 7 million adds. Of that figure, 500,000 were in the US, a number below analyst projections of 800,000 but still robust.

One Netflix account can be used across multiple devices. Photo / File
One Netflix account can be used across multiple devices. Photo / File

The numbers suggest that relatively few people are cancelling Netflix so far, despite the availability of the services from Apple and Disney.

Netflix does not release local customer numbers, but numbers crunched by research organisation Nielsen from June last year showed the platform reaches over 1.2 million New Zealanders.

Given the continued uptick in streaming, the number is likely to be even bigger now.

The question, however, is: how many of those New Zealanders have their own accounts versus those who are borrowing log-in details from a family member.

- With Bloomberg