Charter, Disney Execs Pledge To Crack Down On Streaming Password Sharing 'Piracy'

from the missing-the-whole-point dept

For years now Netflix and HBO CEOs have stated that they see streaming service password sharing as little more than glorified advertising. These execs have long argued that once users realize they enjoy the product, they'll usually sign up for their own account (something particularly true of kids once they leave home and get a job). Even then, these companies already impose a limit on the number of simultaneous streams their services offer, and already charge more for a greater number of streams -- so it's not like these companies are giving away the farm for free anyway.

But for the last several years incumbent broadcast and cable executives have been engaging in breathless hysteria regarding such password sharing. Charter CEO Tom Rutledge has grown increasingly agitated over the practice, arguing that HBO and Netflix's tolerance of password sharing shows a "complete lack of control and understanding in the space," while going so far as to argue that a "lack of control over the content by content companies and authentication processes has reduced the demand for video because you don’t have to pay for it."

Of course you may have noticed that the "demand for video" is higher than ever before, based on Netflix's now 50 million monthly streaming subscribers and the massive rise in all manner of viewing options. And Netflix CEO Reed Hastings (who understands his own business pretty well at this point) has gone so far as to state he "loves" the practice:

"We love people sharing Netflix," CEO Reed Hastings said Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show here in Las Vegas. "That's a positive thing, not a negative thing."...A lot of the time, he said, household sharing leads to new customers because kids subscribe on their own as they start to earn income.

Yet some cable and broadcast executives continue their bizarre assault on a problem that isn't. At recent industry events both Rutledge and Disney exec Justin Connolly lamented what they call a rise in password sharing "piracy," hinting that they intend to crack down on the practice in the near future:

"Tom Rutledge has had enough. The chief executive officer of Charter Communications Inc., which sells cable TV under the Spectrum name, is leading an industrywide effort to crack down on password sharing. It’s a growing problem that could cost pay-TV companies millions of subscribers—and billions of dollars in revenue—when they can least afford it.

“There’s lots of extra streams, there’s lots of extra passwords, there’s lots of people who could get free service,” Rutledge said at an industry conference this month...“It’s piracy,” Connolly said. “It’s people consuming something they haven’t paid for. The more the practice is viewed with a shrug, the more it creates a dynamic where people believe it’s acceptable. And it’s not."

You'd think Rutledge, the highest paid executive in America last year, would have a slightly better grasp on the industry he works in and where it's headed. Again, Netflix and HBO impose simultaneous stream limits, so it's not like they're giving away the store. And again, these executives have clearly stated they see password sharing as advertising, so calling it piracy makes no coherent sense. It's a reflection of the hubris often seen in the traditional cable TV sector, where they believe every natural market evolution is an existential threat.

Of course Rutledge is the same CEO that just spearheaded a completely botched merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks that resulted in higher rates, fewer upgrades, and higher prices. Rutledge's company is also currently being sued for failing to deliver advertised broadband speeds and for using hidden fees to covertly jack up service costs. Disney's ESPN properties, meanwhile, were so blinded by the belief they could nurse the traditional cable cash cow forever, they failed to see the cord cutting trend coming and have lost tens of millions of viewers as a result.

In other words, these two execs have plenty of other problems they need to deal with before focusing all of their ire on a problem that isn't. And when looking for advice on the evolving video market, maybe you should steer clear of folks that pretty clearly have little to no understanding of adaptation or where the market is headed.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 5:12am

    Even if it's limited to 1 person streaming at a time, if I want to let a friend/relative use my password to access the service I paid while I'm not using then it's my problem, my money. The entitlement in display still boggles the mind even if it has been the norm to the likes of Disney, ISPs for years.

    People are growing sick of it guys. That's why people have lost respect for copyright for instance. Because you made it into a tool to feed your sense of entitlement. Chill. You'll be in for a rude awakening when the next generation grows without Disney because of your idiocy and you go Kodak.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 7:09am

      Re:

      They're once again proving that if libraries weren't a thing since before copyright was a thing, they would never have been allowed. They would be declared piracy of the highest order if you were trying to start that institution today.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 9:18am

      Re:

      It's all part of capitalism's function. It's built to extract rents from anyone and everyone. Imagine the market like a bridge everyone has to cross to get home and imagine businesses being the infamous bridge troll who demands you pay to cross the bridge, even if they didn't build it or maintain it. That's how capitalism works. You claim property to something whether you make it or not and then suck up all the revenue as pure profit (and repeat).

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 10:28am

        Re: Re:

        I do not think you understand the word capitalism - in practice, it does not exist as it is a concept. There are some very corrupt people who take advantage at every turn, these folk are responsible for the result which some times is called capitalism but is far from it.

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        • identicon
          JEDIDIAH, 24 Dec 2017 @ 8:57am

          Au Naturel

          Capitalism is simply what happens naturally when you don't have a large powerful entity with lots of gun to enforce it's will on everyone. It's a natural consequence of liberty and human nature. This is why you get black markets even in places like the Soviet Union where "commerce" was quite literally a crime and you could get executed for it.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 2:16pm

      Re:

      No one has lost respect for copyright except for dorky dildos like yourself.

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      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 7:17pm

        Re: Re:

        Evan Stone, John Steele, Keith Lipscomb... yeah, nobody's lost respect for copyright after your heroes went in and did their damage. You keep telling yourself that, chubby.

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  • identicon
    tony in san diego, 21 Dec 2017 @ 6:31am

    I have about 95 DVDs in my Netlfix queue. Only four of them are available for streaming. I spend 15 minutes looking for something to stream, and end up either going to Amazon Prime or reading. Netflix streaming is crap. Either C-list movies or TV shows..

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 8:24am

      Re:

      That is your subjective opinion. Netflix has some of the highest rated original shows and movies out there right now in addition to blockbuster content from Hollywood. They have Marvel movies, Star Wars, and Star Trek. None of those are considered C-list, and those are only a few examples.

      I'm guessing either you have an eclectic taste or your Netflix matching isn't matching up well.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 8:44am

        Re: Re:

        Netflix has a TON of Orignal content. There's so much I want to watch, and just don't have the time. Right now I'm watching the new season of "The Ranch" which I really like. The Marvel series they have, have been great.

        There is just so much, and a TON of kids programming, again even a lot of Orignal content or them.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 8:56am

        Re: Re:

        "I'm guessing either you have an eclectic taste or your Netflix matching isn't matching up well."

        In my experience, the people who whine like this have the opposite of an eclectic taste. People like me with truly eclectic tastes don't have enough time to watch everything they want to watch, because the selection is so varied.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Dec 2017 @ 2:27am

        Re: Re:

        Marvel, Star Wars, Star Trek - not really a great example.
        I know lots of people who hate the SF space opera genre films & shows
        I'm not a netflix user so do not know how eclectic their film range is, but only listing content that could all be lumped in one genre is not exactly shouting wide range to me

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 22 Dec 2017 @ 2:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Marvel, Star Wars, Star Trek - not really a great example.
          I know lots of people who hate the SF space opera genre films & shows "

          No, but they are good examples of how the "Either C-list movies or TV shows" claim that the OP was making was false.

          If his argument was "I don't particularly care for the type of movies & TV that are on Netflix", he'd have a point. Instead, he openly lied about their nature.

          "I'm not a netflix user so do not know how eclectic their film range is, but only listing content that could all be lumped in one genre is not exactly shouting wide range to me"

          There's a huge amount of content, in huge number of different genres. You can have everything from martial arts to documentaries to stand up comedy to foreign language dramas to dark horror movies to kids animation. That's true both of their Netflix Originals lineup (i.e. context exclusive to Netflix) and of their general catalogue titles. There's plenty of 3rd party sites that will tell you their lineup if you want to check it out but don't wish to subscribe.

          It's certainly possible for someone with narrow tastes or specific demands to find the service lacking, but it's impossible to honestly classify it a service that's not wide reaching in its offering.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 8:53am

      Re:

      Your subjective opinion is valid, but your objective claims are false. You can say you don't like the product on offer, but don't lie about their nature.

      Plus, I'll never understand whining like yours in this day and age. Don't feel like you're getting value for money with your subscription? Pay for something that gives you what you want. Either you're getting your full value from the DVD service, or you're voluntarily paying for a service and complaining rather than using their many competitors (as you already do while still complaining, apparently).

      Nobody's forcing you to subscribe if you don't feel like you're not getting what you pay for.

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      • identicon
        Thad, 21 Dec 2017 @ 9:57am

        Re: Re:

        Plus, I'll never understand whining like yours in this day and age. Don't feel like you're getting value for money with your subscription? Pay for something that gives you what you want.

        But no service is perfect. There's no legal option for getting the selection of Netflix's DVD service, the immediacy of streaming, and a reasonable price.

        And that's by design. The studios are doing it intentionally. Netflix (streaming) has an extremely broad selection, but it doesn't have everything. There's no contradiction in saying "Netflix is the best option, but it doesn't have everything I want."

        Studios have intentionally pulled content from Netflix over the last few years; they're still doing so, with Disney set to remove all its content in favor of its own service. "Just subscribe to Disney's service if you want it" is poor advice; I don't want to pay for another streaming platform, I want Disney's content to stay on the streaming platforms I'm already paying for.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 22 Dec 2017 @ 1:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "But no service is perfect"

          No, never has been.

          "There's no legal option for getting the selection of Netflix's DVD service, the immediacy of streaming, and a reasonable price."

          Well, given that I don't live in the US and thus don't have the DVD option, I don't know. But, my point stands - if he's getting value from the DVD service but not the streaming service, fine. If he finds the overall content offering underwhelming for his tastes and prefers the selection on other platforms, fine. But don't lie bout the breadth and quality of the content on offer.

          "There's no contradiction in saying "Netflix is the best option, but it doesn't have everything I want.""

          But, that's not what he said. He said "Netflix streaming is crap. Either C-list movies or TV shows" and stated he uses a competing service anyway since they have more of what he wants.

          No service is perfect - never has been, whether you're talking cable, terrestrial or other. So, vote with your wallet and subscribe to the ones that are best for your needs.

          ""Just subscribe to Disney's service if you want it" is poor advice; I don't want to pay for another streaming platform, I want Disney's content to stay on the streaming platforms I'm already paying for."

          Understood. But, lying about the current options doesn't do anything positive either. Also, if you find this to the be the problem, don't bitch at Netflix, since it's actually Disney's decision.

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          • identicon
            Thad, 22 Dec 2017 @ 8:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'd say it's more of an exaggeration than an outright lie, but fair point.

            It is disappointing how limited Netflix streaming is compared to Netflix's DVD option, and even compared to what Netflix streaming used to offer (off the top of my head, it used to have X-Files and Doctor Who; it doesn't anymore).

            There's still a whole hell of a lot there, of course.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 23 Dec 2017 @ 1:14am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "even compared to what Netflix streaming used to offer (off the top of my head, it used to have X-Files and Doctor Who; it doesn't anymore)."

              Of course, the issue then is NOT Netflix, it's the licencing model and the fact that the people who own the rights to those particular properties would rather make you subscribe elsewhere than give you the content where you already are.

              It is absolutely a lie to say that Netflix does not have a good wide selection of content. If your issue is that they don't have the specific titles you want, go whine at the people who own those rights.

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  • icon
    ralph_the_bus_driver (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 7:03am

    With the early MicroSoft versions of Windows, most of the people I know were sharing passwords and/or using illegal versions. Once they had killed off OS2, made Apple a shadow of it's former self, and had well over 90% market did they get serious and put controls on Windows XP.

    Just saying I know a guy that had a copy.

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    • icon
      crade (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 7:11am

      Re:

      If by "got serious" you mean put in token activation controls that were immediately hacked and had no effect whatsoever other than nuisance for valid customers..

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      • icon
        ralph_the_bus_driver (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 9:43am

        Re: Re:

        Activation hacking is still above most consumer's ability. MS Windows went from maybe 75% compliance to 90%+ compliance by requiring activation.

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        • identicon
          Thad, 21 Dec 2017 @ 10:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You're gonna have to give me a citation if I'm going to buy those numbers. Out of 200 million PC's in China, I seriously doubt 90% are running legal copies of Windows.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Dec 2017 @ 12:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Activation hacking is still above most consumer's ability"

          In XP you only needed an enterprise copy and a valid key (at the time valid keys could be extracted from most networks with lots of XP machines, so libraries, schools, universities, etc).

          In Win 7 it was a simple as installing the retail copy available from microsoft online "Open up Daz Loader" -> "Click Install Button" -> "Reboot".

          And most copies available on Torrent sites will already have the modified boot loader pre-configured, which is where one would go to to get their "illegal" copy of windows.

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          • identicon
            JEDIDIAH, 24 Dec 2017 @ 9:00am

            Even a low bar is good enough.

            > In XP you only needed an enterprise copy and a valid key

            You just lost most consumers there.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 7:09am

    In all fairness to the cable companies here (damn, 2017, what have you done to me?) the article in Bloomberg about this topic notes that 50 different people using the same credentials isn't uncommon, and that 1 login had 30,000 concurrent streams. This, I will concede, is a bit much and I don't blame companies for wanting to crack down on that.

    HOWEVER, it then goes on to say that in order to achieve these goals, they want to make LEGITIMATE customers login more frequently. So, apparently the way to combat "piracy" is to annoy paying customers. Some things will never change I suppose.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 7:57am

      Re:

      "In all fairness to the cable companies here (damn, 2017, what have you done to me?) the article in Bloomberg about this topic notes that 50 different people using the same credentials isn't uncommon, and that 1 login had 30,000 concurrent streams"

      If true, that's clearly a problem with their systems, not the users. Netflix state that 2 concurrent streams are possible, and you get charged if you need more. If cable companies are unable to enforce this restriction, they need to get their internal staff to implement it, not whine to lawmakers. It's a perfect example of a non-issue, assuming they have invested in staff and infrastructure to carry out the basic tasks required.

      It's a fairly typical story - they want the result but don't want to pay to do the work, and/or there's another end game they're trying to get to that needs the draconian law in place.

      "So, apparently the way to combat "piracy" is to annoy paying customers"

      Yep, and then when they realise that annoying paying customers only makes the pirate options more attractive, they'll double down on the same tactics (see also: DRM, windowing, etc.)

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    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 21 Dec 2017 @ 7:58am

      Re:

      "In all fairness to the cable companies"
      ROFL!!! As soon as they become fair they get to be looked at fair. Screw them.

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    • icon
      Angel (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 8:00am

      Re:

      That's always been the Case. It was same with most DRM put into video games. People still pirate them, but legitimate customers get caught up dealing with DRM schemes. I've still never gotten over how a purchased copy of Neverwinterwinter Nights 2 basically broke my PC with it's DRM.

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    • icon
      crade (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 8:05am

      Re:

      "I don't blame companies for wanting to crack down on that"

      only if by "companies" you mean the streaming companies (ie: Netflix), since their service what is being used without payment.

      Downstream from Netflix has no valid complaint whatsoever. Netflix is paying their full license fee's for everything. If they choose they could give their service away completely for free and it would none of the cable companies business.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 8:30am

        Re: Re:

        No, I really just meant I don't blame cable providers from wanting to prevent 1 paying customer having their credentials logged in 50 different times. As pointed out by another response above, this is just their own failing to have not done so already.

        The fact that this was a story reported on by legitimate publications in the first place really just says to me cable companies are looking for some sympathy here. They can quietly fix their own problems...

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        • icon
          crade (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 8:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If it's cracking down on the process on their own systems, I don't blame them a bit. Unfortunately what we have been seeing so far is that the cable companies are complaining about Netflix not doing enough about password sharing, which is illegitimate.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 10:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So they want to monetize their customers who seem to be using some other platform - those damned pirates!!!!

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    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 21 Dec 2017 @ 8:37am

      Re:

      "the article in Bloomberg" Link? (nevermind found it)
      "1 login had 30,000 concurrent streams." Which service? Sounds like bullshit... and it is:
      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-20/cable-tv-s-password-sharing-crackdown-is-comin g

      Tom Rutledge has had enough. The chief executive officer of Charter Communications Inc., which sells cable TV under the Spectrum name, is leading an industrywide effort to crack down on password sharing. It’s a growing problem that could cost pay-TV companies millions of subscribers—and billions of dollars in revenue—when they can least afford it.

      “There’s lots of extra streams, there’s lots of extra passwords, there’s lots of people who could get free service,” Rutledge said at an industry conference this month. The CEO has said that one unidentified channel owner had 30,000 simultaneous streams from a single account.


      "The CEO has said that one unidentified channel owner had 30,000 simultaneous streams from a single account."
      Don't believe the lies. Proof or it didn't happen.

      and what is "one unidentified channel owner" exactly? Channel owner? WTF? This guy is lying through his teeth.
      You want to be fair? To them?
      So... to be clear... it was Tom Rutledge, The chief executive officer of Charter Communications Inc., that made that claim. Yeah.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 8:55am

      Re:

      Wow, that many? I have heard of Netflix login accounts getting hacked, or found out and then sold online for cheap. So I assume it's something like that. A person doesn't realize there are 50 or more people also using their account!!!

      These companies have every right to stop this. I mean, come on, 30,000 on 1 account? I think they should smarten it up. Place a limit of say no more than 10 streams at once. They can check in the background your IP, where that steam is going. All 10 of those streams should generally be going to all the same IP. Unless you're on a iPad or something away from home. Maybe limit there to 1-2 other IP address for that kind of situation.

      People SHOULD be paying for the service.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 9:02am

        Re: Re:

        "These companies have every right to stop this"

        Nobody's saying they don't. What they are saying is that this is a failure of their account and authentication systems, not something they need to whine about to the press and government.

        "Place a limit of say no more than 10 streams at once. They can check in the background your IP, where that steam is going. All 10 of those streams should generally be going to all the same IP."

        No, sorry but you're both overcomplicating it and trying to lock out legitimate customers at the same time. There's plenty of reasons why 2 or more people in the same household would be watching from different IPs. You'd be talking about public IPs as well, meaning that there's likely multiple devices behind each router serving the public IP. Also, why choose 10 as your limit, when it's already established that the basic Netflix account allows 2 (Netflix being a company not whining about this, by the way).?

        The fix is simple - their content system should know how many devices it's streaming to at once, don't allow any more devices to stream once that limit's reached. Simple.

        "People SHOULD be paying for the service."

        Yes. So, why are these companies allowing the to not do so with their own shitty systems?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Snape (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 7:21am

    "lack of control over the content by content companies and authentication processes has reduced the demand for video because you don’t have to pay for it."

    The key word in that sentence is control. That's all that matters.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 9:04am

      Re:

      Actually, I think the key term is "by content companies". Netflix has complete control over how many devices can stream simultaneously, the content companies just want to demand another payment on top of the licencing they already get paid for. Which is part of the reason why they decided to create their own content, their suppliers keep trying to fleece them when they're in control.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Max, 21 Dec 2017 @ 7:27am

    What I'd like to know is when can we start calling conversations about the weather outside "weather channel piracy"...? This current freeloading is utterly outrageous...!

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 1:08pm

      Re:

      Not to mention the magazine piracy you find in many doctors and dentists offices, and don't even get me started on the book piracy enabled by the worst pirates of all, libraries.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Joel Coehoorn, 21 Dec 2017 @ 7:37am

    Revenue

    Disney has claimed they plan to charge "substantially less" than Netflix. I suspect, though, they still plan to earn revenue similar to or even greater than Netflix.

    This may be part of how they do that: we'll only charge $6.99 (guessing here) instead of $10.99, but at that price we expect you to have your own account, rather than share with a friend.

    Whether this will actually work out for them remains to be seen.

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    • icon
      An Onymous Coward (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 8:59am

      Re: Revenue

      That or they'll slather it with advertising. I'd rather not watch it at all -- I have that option now (having other streams to watch without ads).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 7:46am

    I no longer care. Long ago I figured out I wasn't getting what I was paying for. Hundreds of channels and having to spend some time trying to find something I was interested in. One day I found out I wasn't really looking forward to more than two or three shows and that was loosing ground as the commercials took more broadcast time and shows got steadily more stupid.

    One day I just got rid of my tv. I've never regretted that. In the process I got rid of the constant bombardment of the commercial and totally lost touch on movies and shows. I no longer think about it nor miss it.

    I'm one they've lost. I doubt I'll ever come back. So it matters not to me about passwords or streaming shows. I just don't care anymore. To me the product they put out, they'd have to pay me to watch.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 7:47am

    ...reduced the demand for video because you don’t have to pay for it."

    This bring to mind two questions:

    1.) What are they smoking?

    2.) Where can I get some?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 8:04am

    Do they not consider that if they drive young adults to the likes of YouTubes, because they cannot afford their own subscription while at college, and they will lose most of them forever.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      JEDIDIAH, 24 Dec 2017 @ 9:05am

      As if...

      Oh Please. Compared to what else college students have to pay for, a Netflix subscription is a pittance. Even a cable subscription is a pittance.

      Your pity for college students is misplaced.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 8:07am

    "“It’s piracy,” Connolly said. “It’s people consuming something they haven’t paid for."

    Bullshit. If they are operating within the terms of their contract (e.g. 2 simultaneous streams for a basic Netflix package), they are getting EXACTLY what they paid for. The person paying the account is getting the account level they paid for. If they share their legally purchased service with someone else, that's their right, as it is if I share my 4G with someone via a personal hotspot or let them borrow a DVD when I've finished watching it.

    If they are able to go beyond what they paid for on a subscription service, your systems need to be able to stop this themselves (e.g. Netflix's account system popping up an error / upsell message when a 3rd device tries streaming). It's quite easy - you can see how many devices are actively logged in and streaming, if that's too many then control your account authentication.

    If your systems are unable to apply your own service restrictions, you either need to pay for staff who know what they're doing or give them a decent budget to work with. Unless there's another motive here (likely), there's nothing here that can't be dealt with via internal development processes.

    "reduced the demand for video because you don’t have to pay for it."

    Wait... I thought the problem was people consuming more than they paid for and there was "no way to compete with free". Now, the demand is *lower* when people get it for free? Huh.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      The Wanderer (profile), 23 Dec 2017 @ 8:03am

      Re:

      I think what that phrase was probably intended to mean is something more like "reduced the demand for paid, legitimate video services because you can get the same service without paying for it".

      It's awkwardly phrased and unclear, but it probably did a better job of conveying the intent in its original context. (Or at least in its speaker's head, where even more context is available.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 9:05am

    There is only one viable answer to these:

    Truly if there is one reaction people should have when seeing yet another article describing an executive lamenting piracy is to stop and say

    "Seriously? They are are whining about piracy again?!"

    At this point copyright is broken enough to be used to silence protected speech. Yet execs will never stop bitching like the world is unfair to them. Its time to rightly ignore their constant whining unless the reaction to them is threathen to reduce their already massive rights.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Iggy, 21 Dec 2017 @ 10:00am

    Competition is a bitch

    Sounds like Tom Rutelige wants the same thing he had before: collusion. Luckily for consumers, ISP's and "Edge providers" dont see eye to eye very often. Unfortunately, after the repeal of net neutrality, ISPs will have more power to dictate such policies to companies like Netflix.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Yes, I know I'm commenting anonymously, 21 Dec 2017 @ 10:15am

    Jealousy & Greed

    This is not even about short-term thinkers (telco's) versus long-term policies (HBO & Netflix).
    This is about some greedy boss wanting a share of everyone else's money: `If someone has something, they must pay for it, so I can claim my cut.' The worst possible combination of greed and jealousy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chuck, 21 Dec 2017 @ 10:45am

    The most important sentence ever uttered regarding Piracy...

    ...is probably this right here:

    "...leads to new customers because kids subscribe on their own as they start to earn income."

    Ok, yeah, sentence fragment. But that mere fragment contains the crux of every valid point ever made about Piracy. If you are awesome to your pirates, they'll become customers when they can afford to. If you sue them, you'll probably never see your multi-thousand-dollar judgment money, and I can guarantee you they'll never purchase a product from you, EVER.

    And the same affects will apply to their friends and neighbors. Nothing sells a Netflix subscription faster than watching a movie (or better yet, an original show) at a friend's house. Nothing causes brand avoidance faster than hearing your friend just got sued for $50,000 by Sony for pirating one damn song from Guns N Roses. Nothing makes the neighbors more angry at your company than the FBI, acting as your personal lap-dogs, parking all over their lawn then they raid your house because you stole one copy of the Emoji Movie, but nothing would make them more friendly than inviting them over to watch Iron Man on your Netflix-enabled TV.

    This is how the RIAA is in contention for "worst company in America" every single year (even though, technically, they're a not-for-proft organization). They simply do not understand the power of word-of-mouth marketing. But then, why would they? Any artist can sell themselves via word-of-mouth marketing, but it takes a record label to run commercials and billboards and such. Word-of-mouth marketing, when it is successful, is the arch-rival of the RIAA and their ilk. It's not surprising they'd fail to understand all of this.

    Hopefully they'll just go ahead and die off soon. There is no place in the future for Sony BMG, Universal, and their kind. They've refused to adapt for 40 years (at least, going back to home taping) and if they ever do show serious signs of change, it'll be too late. The quicker the big labels all die, the better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      JEDIDIAH, 24 Dec 2017 @ 9:06am

      Re: The most important sentence ever uttered regarding Piracy...

      > "...leads to new customers because kids subscribe on their own as they start to earn income."

      That's pretty much the entire content model in a nutshell.

      Most people aren't degenerate pirates. They pay when they can. If you don't punish them when they are poor and piss them off they will likely become paying customers in the future.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 10:55am

    same argument

    "lack of control over the content by content companies and authentication processes has reduced the demand for video because you don’t have to pay for it."

    i HEARD THIS ABOUT radio IN CARS..
    With cable all I see, is a way to CONTROL and get more money from CBS/NETFLIX/NBC/ and all the other companies that GIVE US SHOWS WE WANT TO WATCH...WHEN WE WANT THEM.,.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DB (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 11:26am

    "when they can least afford it"

    Is right now a tough economic time for pay TV companies?

    Or is the phrase "when they can least afford it" used because the price of upper-end customized Gulfstreams has increased?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 12:41pm

    Dumb Statement of the Year...

    “It’s people consuming something they haven’t paid for."

    Exactly WHEN did this become law? I seem to recall consuming many years of free TV broadcasts and free Radio broadcasts and free concerts in the park and free air and free fruit from the trees in the yard ...

    (oops.. better not say that "free air" one... someone will start charging me for it..)

    Whether or not Skippy likes it, there is no law that everything consumed must be paid for.

    Matter of fact, you can consume "free love" but it is illegal to pay for it...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Dec 2017 @ 7:28pm

    Alladin gave me the password he had stolen from some bandits so I could watch a movie tonight.

    "Snow white and the seven unpaid subscribers" seamed like it would be a good watch but as soon as I started the stream ACCOUNT FROZEN.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    MyNameHere (profile), 21 Dec 2017 @ 11:01pm

    Like anything, a little password sharing wouldn't be the end of the world, sort of on par with mix tapes.

    Widespread sharing and "account splitting" (where people share the cost of an account and each get an access code) can have a negative effect.

    Netflix has ignored it in the same manner that they ignored VPNs from overseas for an incredibly long time. There are simple reasons.

    Netflix needs critical mass, every company does. They want to get the most eyeballs and to create value in their product. It means that they can reach the point where their home made series (Netflix originals) are as popular as other entertainment sources.

    Literally, get people hooked, and then work on getting them to actually pay for it.

    The problem in giving away this type of product tends to harm others. Netflix benefits, but their suppliers aren't happy (because this fudges the viewership down, which may lower their income if they have a payment per user deal). It also absorbs up eyeballs that might be on other media, lowering their ratings.

    Netflix has done well with this sort of thing, but it's borderline sneaky.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    McGyver (profile), 22 Dec 2017 @ 4:37am

    Streaming: The New Cable.
    Give it a couple of years more and it will be a bigger, greedier mess than cable.
    If it weren't for my kids, I would have ditched Netflix when they imposed the last fee hike.
    I think I watched one thing on it in maybe six or eight months and fell asleep in the middle.
    The only "password sharing" I've ever done was to let my kids watch cartoons at their grandparents house.
    I down graded to single viewer because I'm not paying for using two TVs in the same house, and I doubt (though, I could be wrong) that with all the data collection that's done, they don't know when two TVs are at the same address.
    If people decide it's a value for them to have to have three services to pay for most of the programs they enjoy, good for them... Especially if they can afford it.
    If the streaming services want to nickle and dime customers, they are going to do it and nobody is gonna change that because that would require going without entertainment for a while.
    For me the only value is my kid's enjoyment and they care less about the shows being offered, as most of the ones they liked have left Netflix.
    Once that value is gone, Netflix can kiss my ass.
    Besides, when we start paying extra to access different Internet packages (thanks to Mr Pai and his employer Verizon) I see that value dropping further.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 22 Dec 2017 @ 4:56am

      Re:

      You have a very strange attitude. Price went up slightly? Yeah... that happens. Does everything else you pay for stay the same price forever? I doubt it, so why are you so specifically angry at this one for it?

      You also appear to be paying for a service that currently offers the value required, but you're angry about it because you "only" get value for your kids rather than yourself personally.

      "I think I watched one thing on it in maybe six or eight months and fell asleep in the middle."

      That's not Netflix's fault. Either you're paying for service you don't use (in which case you should maybe cancel it as you're free to do), or you're paying only to keep your kids entertained. Why are you so angry at Netflix for this?

      "Once that value is gone, Netflix can kiss my ass."

      No need to be so ridiculously angry about it. If you personally find that a service is not giving you value for what you pay for it, you're free to cancel your account at any time. Nobody forced you to sign up, and nobody's forcing you to remain a subscriber. It's on you if you insist on paying a monthly fee for something you don't want or use. If you find the selection on competing services is better, go use them. Ranting about your personal choice does nothing except make you look foolish.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        McGyver (profile), 22 Dec 2017 @ 7:36am

        Re: Re:

        You confuse a negative opinion with anger.
        Me angry does not sound like "can kiss my ass".
        "Kiss my ass" is me looking at a $10 t-shirt selling for $20.
        "No need to be ridiculously angry"?
        Seriously, I threw a moped out a window and I was only pissed.
        If I was ridiculously angry I'd have had far stronger words.
        If you are a Netflix fan... Uh... Yay?
        Like I said... If that's what you enjoy and you feel it's a value to you... great pay whatever they ask as long as you feel you are getting something of value in return.
        Is that an angry statement?
        If you like cheeseburgers buy them.
        Is that angry too?
        I would cancel it if it was just me, I'm not mean enough to cancel it on my kids because they still find something of value there...
        And if I realize they aren't watching it anymore, I'll ask them if they mind cancelling it.
        I'm not "angry about not getting value for myself, only for my kids", (but I do appreciate the insight into my inner thoughts it's very interesting to see how other people interpret stuff)... What I am is indifferent... And I'm saying I don't care about their product, and the only reason I buy it is someone I care for enjoys it.
        No anger.
        I don't get why people seem to interpret a negative opinion of something they enjoy as spiteful or angry.
        It's like a personal attack on their belief system.
        I'd understand if they invented the item, service or product, but as a customer or consumer of the thing in question... It's just a bit odd to me to get (seemingly) uptight and feel the need to comment on something in such a manner.
        And weirder yet that I'm responding.
        But still... No anger.
        I don't get how, even in person I make a comment like "I don't watch that show" or "Amazon isn't really such a great deal" and I get reactions like I just insulted a religious figure or disappointment.
        Opinion.
        I didn't insult their religion, family and ugly pets.
        ("Ugly pets" was for humor... still no anger)
        People need to check their friggin values.
        And I say that with no malice, anger or arrogance... In fact no mopeds were harmed during any of these statements.
        When I first picked up Netflix, their selling point was they weren't like cable and you could watch shows on multiple sets at home...
        They decided to change that.
        I don't agree and since I'm not giving out my password to anyone else, nor abusing their service, nor do I really buy the argument that a significant enough number of people are sharing passwords without it actually benefiting the company by acting to hook people on the service.
        To me people should find it more bothersome that once again corporate executives are carping about how they need to crack down on a perceived (or made up) abuse and charge more for the same or less.
        That's all.
        And I genuinely mean this... Have a great day!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 22 Dec 2017 @ 9:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Like I said... If that's what you enjoy and you feel it's a value to you... great pay whatever they ask as long as you feel you are getting something of value in return."

          I do. Which makes it strange when I see someone insisting on paying them when they don't feel they have that return. There's no contract, no minimum subscription period, why pay?

          "And I'm saying I don't care about their product, and the only reason I buy it is someone I care for enjoys it. "

          So, you are getting value for money, it just doesn't cater to you personally. Who cares, so long as you're getting value for your family? You're getting the service you pay for.

          "I don't get why people seem to interpret a negative opinion of something they enjoy as spiteful or angry."

          Because usually when someone write reams of text it means they're passionate about something. When you're telling the subject of said text to kiss your ass, that usually implies anger.

          "When I first picked up Netflix, their selling point was they weren't like cable and you could watch shows on multiple sets at home...
          They decided to change that"

          Which is, frankly, a lie. Netflix allow you to choose between 1, 2 and 4 device simultaneously. You can have it installed on many more than that if you don't watch at the same time. If you've chosen the 1 device only plan, that's on you, not them.

          "To me people should find it more bothersome that once again corporate executives are carping about how they need to crack down on a perceived (or made up) abuse and charge more for the same or less."

          Then why are you attacking Netflix, the company who are openly *not* doing that?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2017 @ 1:38am

      Re:

      >If the streaming services want to nickle and dime customers, they are going to do it and nobody is gonna change that because that would require going without entertainment for a while.

      Or they can explore the free alternatives like YouTube, and probably never return to the subscription service.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Dec 2017 @ 1:49pm

    good luck with that crack down, it's my account i can give anyone in the world, including the world, access to it if i want. if you don't like that, terminate my account and watch me go elsewhere.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Dec 2017 @ 4:29pm

    Sometimes an entire board room needs drawn and quartered in the street since no one has the decency to jump anymore. Just saying Talk talk talk talk doesn't beat greed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2017 @ 8:24am

    After blaming radio, television, home taping, and the Internet, the copyright cartel now blames passwords in the digital age.

    Don't buy their shit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2017 @ 11:10am

    "And Netflix CEO Reed Hastings..."

    Heretic! Burn him!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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