• Prime Mover (unregistered)

    Where's today's TDWTF?

  • Jonathan Lydall (google)

    Citi equity analyst Jason Bazinet said that password sharing costs U.S. streaming companies $25 billion annually in lost revenue, and Netflix owns about 25% of that loss.

    Ahh yes, the old flawed "for each person not paying we're losing a full subscription" argument, which completely ignores that for a certain percentage of those people, when given the choice of paying or simply not using the streaming service, will choose the latter.

    So it's not "lost" revenue, it's actually just number of people getting the service for "free" and it's unclear how many of them are actually prepared to pay for it even if they have no other choice.

  • (nodebb)

    So it's not "lost" revenue, it's actually just number of people getting the service for "free" and it's unclear how many of them are actually prepared to pay for it even if they have no other choice.

  • Hal (unregistered) in reply to Jonathan Lydall

    It might not be lost revenue but it is an expense however small. The cost of bandwidth to support a large amount of dead weight, non-paying, users isn't nothing.

    If anything Netflix has a better argument they are 'hurt by piracy' than a lot of ISVs and Media companies back in the days when the unauthorized copies were being made on media the pirates paid for with the pirates own equipment. Even into the Napster era you could at least argue the pirates were paying for the bandwidth.

  • Brian (unregistered) in reply to Prime Mover

    Ah yes, the old "it's not really stealing because I wouldn't be using it if I didn't get it for free" logic. I remember saying the same things back when I was a teenager. Then I grew up.

    Dude, just pay the 14 bucks already. :P

  • Code monkey (unregistered)

    Is the number that wouldn't buy it otherwise included or excluded from Jason Bazinet's assumptions? I assume it's part of his job to take these sort of factors into account.

    I can't find anything definitive either way.

  • Naomi (unregistered) in reply to Prime Mover
  • Naomi (unregistered) in reply to Brian

    This is a deeply flawed response, and it ignores the context of what was actually said.

    A healthy discussion is based on facts. Debunking false claims, then, is a service to the discussion as a whole. And the claim that a "stolen" copy of something necessarily represents lost revenue is false, so Jonathan debunked it. You can look at that and go "huh, I guess it doesn't matter," or you can go "no, it's still stealing," and either position is defensible. That's not really the point. The point is picking true premises.

    And the unnecessary personal attack is unnecessary. Believe it or not, someone can be ethically okay with piracy and still not engage in it personally.

    Hal's response - that in Netflix's case it still does represent lost revenue, albeit not at a 1:1 ratio - is a much better rebuttal.

  • DrPepper (unregistered)

    The web application I'm working on makes a call to an api; which in turn aggregates data from a number of microservices (which may also aggregate data from other services). If ANY of those services fails, the api fails, and the web application is unusable. In other words, this application aggregates any service failure into a single point of failure.

    It's a wonder that we can get any work done at all, given the percentage of time that the application is unavailable.

  • Sole Purpose Of Visit (unregistered) in reply to Naomi

    I think we expect too much of Remy (who is on a roll right now -- several weeks worth of real, fun, WTFs).

    You and I agree that the man needs a break every now and again. I'm in favour of that. Even if I don't particularly care for the content of the break.

    (At least it's no longer "Mandatory Fun Frobdays," or whatever that horrible thing was.)

  • Jonathan Lydall (google) in reply to Hal

    Yes, agreed that these ToU violating users cost the streaming companies something, but that cost is probably a single digit percentage (maybe even less than a percent) of the quoted $25B "lost revenues" figure.

    I pay for Netflix because I feel it's worth it. I will comment that it really annoys me I don't have the option of paying for things like Disney+ in my country without the need to jump through hoops like use of VPNs, so feel little to no pity for them when people in countries with no legal distribution channels available to them just do piracy instead.

  • jay (unregistered)

    Umm, okay. So if 1000 people make unauthorized use of a service, maybe that's not really 1000 times the cost in lost revenue because some of those people wouldn't have bought it anyway. So it's only 800 times the cost or 400 times the cost or whatever number you come up with. So what? What does that have to do with the ethics of it? Or what point were you trying to make?

  • jay (unregistered)

    Not to get technical and everything, but it's not clear how any of these issues are a "single point of failure". They are all failures of one sort or another, of course, but there was no discussion for any of them about what their being only one layer that had to fail for the whole system to fail.

  • mushroom farm (unregistered)

    my favorite part about corporate ethics discussions is how it's always about how the consumer has an ethical problem, never the corporation

  • Worf (unregistered)

    Is it really unauthorized?

    Netflix authorizes 4 streams at their highest service tier. If you only use 2, is it really hurting Netflix when they offer 4 and you give your kids access while at college? Even in the worst case of all 4 of you using it, that's what you subscribed to.

    Netflix can easily cap it at 3, or charge more, or even limit it - 4 streams at once, but only 100 movies per month or something.

    And they can fix it, without fixing it. If you have 4 streams and start a 5th, the 5th stream fails to play. They could easily set it so the 5th stream starts, but the very first stream ends abruptly (losing your spot in the program you're watching). This will stop widespread sharing - would you really want to share your password with lots of people when it could mean an interrupted evening of watching? And those who shared the password would be careful too, since their viewing might be interrupted. And the annoyance of having to seek to where you were is just icing on the cake.

  • turtle (unregistered) in reply to Worf

    There's already plenty of the annoyance deterrent you describe involved when the person who pays for the account goes to watch a show only to find out that their former significant other, who moved out eight months ago but remained on positive terms until this point, has three streams simultaneously running-but-paused on their PC, mobile device, and internet-connected television.

    Not to get needlessly specific or anything.

  • Some Ed (unregistered)

    Netflix also doesn't count for the fact that there are people who already don't use their service because it doesn't provide enough value on an individual level, and they don't want to take any risk of being accused of piracy because their family situation doesn't exactly meet Netflix' definition of family.

    I don't know how much of this goes on, but before my roommate got married, my roommate and I were an instance of it. We're still sharing an apartment, but they have Netflix, because with two of them, they feel it's worth it. I'm not partaking of it, because I'm not related to them and Netflix does not define 'household' in their terms of service, so I can't tell if we'd fit their definition or not. If I did partake of their Netflix plan, Netflix would get more money out of us because we'd get a higher tier plan than they have.

    Netflix can't be counting this in their numbers because they have no way to track it. Just like they have no way to track how many people would actually pay for their service if they actually defined 'household' and enforced it.

    That said, since they don't define household, I don't feel like they have a leg to stand on regarding their claim of lost revenue. I'm sure most of the people who shares the use of their service with someone Netflix feels is in another household would testify in court that they feel the person they're letting use their service is part of their household.

    Of course, there would be a few people like turtle who have simply allowed the sharing to continue because changing passwords is hard. But not $6.25B worth. Maybe $6.25M.

  • John (unregistered)

    While we're complaining about Netflix. Why don't they have an account-owner login which has total control, in addition to the viewer login which you have to add to devices and give to your kids.

  • eric bloedow (unregistered)

    "single point of failure" reminds me of a sci-fi novel, "gust front" by John Ringo. strange aliens known as the Posleen are advancing on Washington DC. an officer told to blow up a bridge was being cautious, using triple the amount of explosives, hooked up to three separate detonators...ALL in the SAME place, on a nearby hill, IN PLAIN SIGHT. a single point of failure.

  • MiserableOldGit (unregistered)

    So TDWTF has become a place for an ill-informed whinge about modern tech by someone who clearly isn't a coder? I could stop avoiding meetings with the middle management and that army of business analysts and "architects" they drag around behind them with sphincter-entrapped tongues if I wanted that in my life.

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