Jill Layton
January 13, 2016 2:46 pm

It’s pretty hard for me to fathom, but I have friends who don’t subscribe to Netflix. They’ve never seen House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, comedian Anjelah Johnson’s latest one hour special: Not Fancy or any other original Netflix programming — including, wait for it… Making a MurdererIt’s really upsetting to me.

So that’s why I’ve given my account information to every single one of those friends, because if they want to live well-rounded lives, they need to watch Netflix. But in doing so, I’ve been in constant fear of being caught and being shipped off to prison just like Steven Avery. Except I’d be guilty.

Well I, along with everyone else who has given their password out, can rest easy. Because in an under-the-radar announcement last week at CES (The International Consumer Electronics Show), Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that consumers sharing Netflix account information is “a positive thing.”

Hastings recognizes that people who use someone else’s account to watch Netflix are likely to eventually become subscribers themselves. Netflix, after all, is pretty irresistible (he didn’t say that part… I did).

“We love people sharing Netflix whether they’re two people on a couch or 10 people on a couch,” Hastings said. “That’s a positive thing, not a negative thing.”

Tech Crunch points out that since Netflix already supports family accounts where all family members can have their own profile, it’s interesting that Hastings is “still okay with account-sharing as an alternative to upgraded accounts where more users can sign in on multiple devices at the same time.”

But Hastings believes that once young people are earning their own money, they’ll be able to and will want to have their own accounts.

“As kids move on in their life, they like to have control of their life, and as they have an income, we see them separately subscribe,” Hastings told reporters at CES. “It really hasn’t been a problem.”

We love the idea of young people feeling their first taste of independence by signing up for their own Netflix account. Netflix certainly is an entertaining and safe way to gain some responsibility.

While Hastings didn’t directly discuss how he feels about friends and roommates sharing account information, it’s clear the company is focused on getting people addicted. Which, based on all the Netflix and chilling and binge watching most subscribers take part in, that doesn’t seem to be a problem.

Hastings probably doesn’t feel super threatened by friends sharing account information, because he also announced that Netflix is moving into 130 new countries. That means, the already 70 million paying customers will now be increased by a lot. Like, a lot a lot.

So if you’re a Netflix password sharer or moocher, keep doing your thing. You won’t be taken to prison anytime soon. At least not for this.

(Image via Flickr/Televisione Streaming.)

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