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What is account sharing?

· 3 min read

account sharing

Account sharing is giving someone access to an account that they are not the owner of, often by sharing login credentials.

Common examples of account sharing are families sharing a Netflix or streaming service account and entire businesses sharing access to a business email or productivity tool

Is account sharing allowed?

Whether account sharing is allowed depends on the service. Streaming services often allow sharing for members of the same household, however most other services only allow a single person to access an account.

Many products have family or team plans that allow each user to have their own account but share the same subscription often at a cheaper price than paying individually. This approach has security, privacy and personalization benefits for each of the users which is why it is becoming more and more common.

In cases where sharing of an account is allowed by the terms, it is important to remember that access to that account can only be authorised by the account owner and in many locations sharing that access to unauthorised individuals may put you in legal hot water.

Account sharing vs password sharing

Account sharing and password sharing is often used interchangeably, especially when talking about services such as Netflix.

Password sharing is account sharing, but not all account sharing involves password sharing.

For example, people can login to their account on a friend or colleague\'s device and simply leave it logged in or they can forward the login email from a 'passwordless' login system. These are just two of many ways accounts are shared without sharing the password.

Account sharing in the wild

100M households use someone else's Netflix

In Netflix's Q1 2022 earnings, they announced that there were over 100 million households who were using someone outside their households account. This put's Netflix squarely as the most account shared service.

Account sharing as a service

Account sharing has become an industry where businesses sell accounts for popular services at 'huge discounts' when they are actually selling the same account to many people. These are risky as users have no privacy from other users and they can be locked out or have their content deleted at any time.

Sharing is cheating?!

Sharing accounts is done for more than just watching a hot new tv show or making it easy to work on something together, it is also used to allow cheating in both games and exams.

In popular video games players can pay for professional gamers to level up their character or win matches for them to improve their ranking.

Similarly as schooling went remote during the pandemic, students shared their accounts with each other to have others take their tests for them to improve their results.

The opportunity of account sharing

Account sharing represents a huge opportunity for businesses as sharers are already active users of the product which means they know the value of the product and just need a nudge to upgrade to a family/team account or to get their own account.

At Upollo we help businesses detect account sharing and turn sharers into happy paying customers.

If you are interested in this space and would like to hear more, please sign up and follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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