About a year ago, Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO, told CNN that password sharing of its streaming service HBO Go is something the company looks at, but not something they are overly concerned about.
“Should it become a big number, we will deal with it,” he said. “We will change the number of concurrent streams that are available. But right now, the number really isn’t significant as long as it remains de minimis.”
Well, knowing that, here’s a special shoutout to somebody who has taken things up a notch. An HBO Now subscriber in Chicago posted a Craiglist ad looking for someone to split the cost with him. Remember, HBO NOW is the standalone, cable-free version of HBO Go.
In fact, he’s accepting up to 3 subscribers to join his account, which could make the cost only a bit more than $3 per month.
Password sharing has become a big topic as more people cut the cord and depend on streaming services online. According to a 2015 Variety report, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, HBO Now and other Internet video-subscription services could lose as much as $500 million in the year due to password sharing.
Why is that? According to a Consumer Reports survey, 46 percent of American adults admitted they shared log-ins for streaming media services with people who were not part of the same household.
Generally, this is against the rules, especially as streaming services allow concurrent streams for a certain number of profiles of people who live in the same household.
Amazon Prime allows two adults and four children at once. HBO, as mentioned above, is limited to a household on the books, but it doesn’t really matter, apparently. Hulu only allows one video stream at a time. The lower end of Netflix’s monthly plan allows for two concurrent streams (the $11.99 plan allows for up to four streams at once).
A Parks Associates survey found that 20 percent of Internet video users between 18 and 24 and 10 percent of those 25-34 used video credentials in the last year that were paid for by someone outside of their home.
“Providers will not crack down on it until they can tie it to a real loss in subscription revenue, somethign that I do not believe they are seeing,” analyst Glenn Hower told USA Today.