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Over 90% of College Students Today Regularly Use Netflix, But Only 34% Are Actually Paying For Their Own Account (streamingobserver.com) 55

According to a new survey from LendEDU, more than 90% of today's college students have access to a Netflix account they regularly use, while only 8% who responded to the survey said they don't have a Netflix account. What some may find even more surprising is that of the 90% of students who have access to Netflix, only 34% of them are actually paying for their own Netflix account. Streaming Observer News reports: That actually goes right in line with numbers from Piper Jaffray that showed almost 40% of teens watch Netflix every single day. Their closest competitors, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, each came in at just 3% each for daily use. Of course, that doesn't mean they're all paying for Netflix. 54% of respondents to LendEDU's survey said they use a family member's or friend's account, and 5% more said they used a boyfriend/girlfriend or ex's account. While only 34% of college students are actually paying for their own Netflix account, that's apparently not too big of a concern for Netflix, who has taken a relatively lax attitude towards password sharing in recent years.
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Over 90% of College Students Today Regularly Use Netflix, But Only 34% Are Actually Paying For Their Own Account

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  • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @07:29PM (#54195795) Homepage Journal

    Netflix allows 3 simultaneous logins per account, so theoretically you could have 90% of college students using Netflix and only 30% paying for it.

    I'm guessing the 34% figure comes from the 4% loners who don't have any friends and still wanna watch Netflix so they pay for their own account.

    • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @07:35PM (#54195829)
      Hmm, I'd have assumed most of the students were using their parents' account....
      • Right!! They probably don't have their own cell phone plan either. The 90% userbase should be all they care about. That's a ton of kids who will grow up and get account for themselves.

      • by trawg ( 308495 )

        Hmm, I'd have assumed most of the students were using their parents' account....

        It's funny, I've probably seen the opposite more commonly - students who pay for Netflix, then go home and set it up for their parents.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      It must be different for different locales, AU $8.99 1, $11.99 2 and $14.99 4, so it is hardly surprising people share accounts (video quality also varies according to account). I have always been a buying and never a renter, just don't like the idea, so no netflix (I am cool with borrowing though, bwa hah hah). Perhaps if netflix sold lifetime accounts, that would be cool. One time payment equal to say a decades worth of subscription and your done, that I could buy into.

      • There's a difference between profiles -- each of which has its own history and recommendation -- and number of simultaneous streams. You can have several profiles on all plan levels, I believe, but at the lowest level only one of them can stream at any given point in time.
        • by mysidia ( 191772 )

          Most people will want at least High-Definition which includes 2 screens, or the Ultra-High-Def plan that includes 4 screens.

          Otherwise the people sharing are either light users, Or they've paid for a plan that adds more screens.

          It's $9.99/Month for the standard plan that includes HD and 2 screens, $7.99/Month for the downgraded plan with 1 screen, and $11.99/Month for 4 screens.

          In other words: It's definitely more cost-effective to share accounts and add screens to a single account if possible, than to

    • >Netflix allows 3 simultaneous logins per account,

      Nope. The simultaneous watching is based on plans and there are three streaming plans:

      $8 for 1 screen at SD (eeeew)
      $10 for 2 screens at HD
      $12 for 4 screens at HD and [useless] UHD

      • Why is UHD useless? do they just not have any offering?

        • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Saturday April 08, 2017 @01:28AM (#54196995)

          >Why is UHD useless? do they just not have any offering?

          Because at any normal distance on any TV, almost nobody can realize any difference with 4K. Also, a large percent of people don't have the bandwidth (25+Mb/s *continuously*). HDR is a different matter, but even that can't be noticed by most people, and few have devices that support it.

          • >Why is UHD useless? do they just not have any offering?

            Because at any normal distance on any TV, almost nobody can realize any difference with 4K.

            A lot of people must have really bad eyes. Of course, many people are still much butthurt that we abandoned NTSC.

            My guess is that it is human inertia, or "it was good enough".

            As an example, my wife has the non-HD channels memorized for our locale. I've pointed out how much sharper the HD version is, have demonstrated on the same shows, and she agrees HD is better.

            But she has the channels for non-HD memorized, and doesn't want to push the button to switch to the HD channel.

            For me at least, I find t

            • I do exactly the same thing, for a variety of reasons.

              One is that I have memorized the hundred odd channels that I like to track on a daily basis. Here are some additional reasons to not go HD, or for the latest and greatest.

              (1) the commercials also get HD'd. This is a pure negative.

              I have the older Comcast set top box at home, but test-drove the newer one at a client's residence. I don't like a number of features about the new box, but here are some of the worst things: (2) you can't minimize the broadc

              • Thinking the latest is the greatest is incredibly naive. The worst possible assumption. Windows 10 taught us that, surely.

                Yes, I heard the same arguments from people when we abandoned NTSC for digital. People that don't even understand things like riding and the variable bandwidth (like the red channel had less then 1MHz bandwidth.

                My favorite part of my naivety is when people tell me I don't see what I can plainly see.

                Windows 10 taught us about television signals?

                • My favorite part of my naivety is when people tell me I don't see what I can plainly see.

                  Well, first it's of course a situation of diminishing returns. Our eyes aren't getting any better, so there is a limit of where it's "good enough".

                  And of course there's a difference between SD and HD. It's clear here in PAL-land even though we had significantly better resolution than NTSC from the get go. But when it comes to 1080p I'm not convinced that better resolution is the next useful step. I'd much rather see higher refresh rates (60Hz makes a difference), and less compression. More resolution with m

            • Going from SD to HD is a *huge* difference, but even that difference a lot of people don't notice and/or care. The difference from HD to UHD is negligible for "normal" sized TV's (50-80") at realistic distances (typically 8 to 12 feet) for just about anybody. I have actually tested other people just out of curiosity, and nobody I have tested can tell which is which (2K vs 4K, same video, 8-10' from a 75" UHD).

              UHD for TV is primarily a marketing concept to try to get people to re-buy all their equipment an

      • [useless] UHD

        It's not useless. The bandwidth is significantly higher which leads to far fewer artifacts such as banding, which are quite visible on regular HD streams from Netflix.

        HDR depends on the source material, for some stuff it's great, for other stuff you don't notice it as much.

        While I might not always be able to tell a very good regular Bluray from a UHD Bluray, I can easily tell the difference between a Netflix HD stream and a Nextflix UHD stream, and that's why I'm happy to pay the difference.

  • Sharing passwords/login credentials? I thought that sharing online passwords is a crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (1986): https://motherboard.vice.com/e... [vice.com]
  • by jxander ( 2605655 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @07:47PM (#54195899)

    Aren't many college students living in dorms, frat/sorority houses, or other shared space?

    Makes sense that one roommate would have the Netflix account, and they all could use it. Wouldn't even require simultaneous logins, if the player was in the shared living room.

    • Not just downs. Generally college students are the probably the most likely to have roommates while renting apartments and homes as many live away from their parent's home but at the same time have the least financial means to afford their own place.
  • When I was in college between '99 and '03, the "jocks dorm" as it was called (next to the football field, kitty-corner from the athletic center, and never a morning without empty bottles in the dumpster) got its cable shut off by the police back in 2001. The local cable company knew there were more watchers than subscribers, and with the cooperation of the college, went room-to-room to see how many illegal splices there were. For what I believe was 112 rooms with cable, only 8 had paid subscriptions.

    And n

  • You are allowed to share accounts across devices, more at higher pay levels. My parents use my account.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's seriously like the journalists that talk this up have never actually used Netflix.

    You are literally paying to be allowed to do this. They have different pricing tiers with a different number of simultaneous screens allowed. They're not "turning a blind eye", they're providing the service they sold.

    If you try to have more people watching on your account simultaneously than you have paid for then it doesn't let you. It's simple. I don't know why journalists have so much trouble with this idea...

  • The content providers are going to wake up one day and realize the money isn't coming in the way it used to. Soon afterwards Netflix will be reduced to its own content plus reruns of "The Facts of Life".
  • During my tour through college in the early 1990's, I always asked my roommates who wanted to have cable TV. Everyone raised their hands. I then asked who wants to pay for cable TV. Everyone put their hands down. We never had cable TV.

    During my second tour through college after the dot com bust, I had my own apartment and still couldn't get cable TV. Not that I couldn't afford to get cable. It's just Comcast refused to open an account unless I went down to the office to prove I wasn't the last tenant who d

  • for my kid in college. Take that away and I wouldn't bother keeping it. For the occasional anime I watch on it it's not worth it.
  • by jon3k ( 691256 )
    College kids are poor, this is not news.
  • Students may well be using someone else's account now, but when they finish college they will be used to getting Netflix, and be likely to pay for an account later.

  • ...they have very little reason to care about password sharing. They explicitly sell their subscriptions based on a number of screens that can simultaneously watch content. No single person is going to watch 4 screens at the same time, so obviously Netflix already views their account subscriptions as "family" accounts, not single person accounts.

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