Netflix’s password crackdown boosts subscriber numbers

Netflix’s crackdown on password-sharing likely boosted subscribers by about 6 million in the third quarter and the streaming pioneer is expected to set the stage for price increases when it reports earnings on Wednesday.

The only profitable major streamer, Netflix has resisted joining rivals like Walt Disney in hiking ad-free prices this year and instead curbed password-sharing outside households to tap the more than 100 million viewers who use its service without subscribing.

“Netflix now closely resembles a utility in many markets,” analysts at Bernstein said. “The challenge of being labeled a utility is how a maturing company continues finding growth.”

It could hike prices after the end of the Hollywood actors strike, a media report said earlier in October.

Five months after calling a strike that plunged Hollywood into turmoil, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) last week approved a new contract with major studios.

Netflix, however, has weathered the strike well thanks to its larger international presence and strong content slate.

Overall, Wall Street expects the streamer to post its strongest quarterly subscriber additions this year, according to LSEG data.

Revenue in the third quarter likely rose 7.7% to $8.54 billion, the fastest growth in five quarters, thanks to strong programming that included the latest seasons of “Sex Education” and “Virgin River”.

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