This week Charter reported a net loss of 104,000 traditional video subscribers in the third quarter 2017. Other companies have blamed hurricanes and other pressures, but Charter’s CEO is blaming password sharing.
“There’s a lot of pressure on the video business,” Charter’s CEO Thomas Rutledge said. “The biggest pressure is price. But the second biggest pressure is that many programmers are distributors, whether they know it or now. And because of password sharing and multiple-stream products … You have 35 million one-person households in the U.S. The multiscreen products sold to those households allow them to purchase one product and share it with multiple users,” said Rutledge.
He went on to say, “The lack of control over the content by content companies and authentication processes has reduced the demand for video because you don’t have to pay for it,” Rutledge said on the earnings call. “That’s going on in the college market.”
Now there is some truth here. Password sharing does hurt content companies, but other companies such as HBO do not see password sharing as a big problem as of 2015. “We look at it very carefully,” Plepler said in an interview with CNNMoney, but “right now password sharing is just simply not a big number.”
The question is has password sharing taken off at the same time that cord cutting has grown.
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