Netflix's password sharing crackdown is actually working as subscriptions spike

An image of a home with five devices showing the Netflix logo on them
Netflix's crackdown on password sharing has been pretty successful. (Image credit: Netflix)

Despite many opinions that it would be a disaster, the Netflix password sharing crackdown is going better than many might have anticipated.

According to new data compiled by analytics company Antenna (as first reported by Business Insider), the world's best streaming service saw a huge uptick in new subscribers across the US in the first six days after the clampdown was announced. Per Antenna's report, Netflix had the four single largest days of subscriber growth in the US in four-and-a-half years.

Even better for Netflix, more than 100,000 new subscribers forked over their hard earned cash across May 26 and 27 – two and three days respectively after Netflix rolled out its password sharing crackdown policy in the US, UK, and Australia. The last time Netflix saw such a spike in subscribers was in March 2020, when around 75,000 new daily subscribers opened accounts at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, with people beginning to work from home and being unable to, well, do anything outside.

Such a large amount of new subscribers has resulted in a 102% increase on Netflix's normal daily sign-ups, too – again, a figure that exceeds that seen during the height of the pandemic.

Netflix on a TV screen with a remote control pointing at it

Netflix's subscriber base has been boosted by its password crackdown rollout worldwide. (Image credit: Freestocks/Unsplash)

Clearly then, Netflix's global rollout of its password sharing crackdown is working wonders. Well, in the US, at least. Antenna's data doesn't account for the UK or Australian viewers, nor does it account for how well the policy is working worldwide.

It is, though, expected to be working well in other territories – if not now, then definitely in the future. Netflix's trial run of its password crackdown, which took place in Canada, Latin America and Spain in late 2022, initially saw a downturn in Netflix subscribers as they cancelled their subscriptions over the policy – something that we saw in the first 48 hours after the streaming giant announced the global rollout. However, Netflix's customers in Canada is now bigger than when password sharing was commonplace, meaning people have reactivated their accounts or created their own in the weeks post-crackdown.

Even with this seemingly big victory, Netflix's plan hasn't been without its problems. Antenna's report also suggests cancelations have also increased since the policy was rolled out globally, even if the rate of new account holders has exceeded those canceling their subscriptions. Per Antenna, the ratio of new users to those closing their accounts is up 25.6% since May 23. 

So, Netflix's plan is working, but there are still those defecting from the service over the company's desire to no longer allow for password sharing between households. Some of those walking away from Netflix might be single parents and/or families on a budget, who simply can't afford to pay for multiple subscriptions to various streamers, including big Netflix rivals like Disney Plus, Prime Video and Max.

Overall, Netflix can be pleased with the initial outcome to its worldwide password sharing efforts. The company had expected backlash to be so big it warned partners, but it's sure to have been buoyed by Antenna's data (and its own internal set of figures) over the last few weeks. And, if Netflix and other streamers are seeing an increase in new users, especially those choosing the cheapest ad-based plans, you can expect others like Prime Video to follow suit and offer their own ad-based subscription tiers very soon.

For more Netflix-based coverage, find out how to sign up to Netflix or, if you'd prefer, how to cancel your Netflix subscription. If you're in the former group though, be sure to read our best Netflix movies and best Netflix shows once your account is live.   

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.