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Netflix signups remain high, fueled by password-sharing crackdown - data

FILE PHOTO: Netflix logo shown on building in Los Angeles

(Reuters) -Signups for Netflix in the United States remain elevated despite a fall from June's record high after the video-streaming pioneer's crackdown on shared passwords came into effect in May, according to data from research firm Antenna.

"Love is sharing a password," Netflix had posted on X - then known as Twitter - in 2017, but its global crackdown on password-sharing hinted at its strategy to open new revenue streams in a saturating, competitive market.

Attracting new subscribers and retaining old ones has become a tough task in the last few years as customers now have a surfeit of options - Walt Disney's streaming service, Amazon.com's Amazon Prime Video and Warner Bros Discovery's Max, among others.

Netflix's shares rose 1.7% in early trading.

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Wall Street had raised concerns that password-sharing could mute subscriber growth. However, Netflix's crackdown managed to reinvigorate its user additions.

The video-streaming company's gross subscriber additions fell by 25.7% in July over the prior month, after signups more than doubled in June, Antenna said. But its 2.6 million gross additions in July were overall elevated when compared to the normal, it added.

Netflix had said last year it was going to limit account-sharing and was testing various approaches in some markets.

The company estimated that more than 100 million households had shared their log-in credentials with friends and family outside their homes. This has led analysts to expect that about 50 million users will ultimately create their own accounts.

Around 23% of users who signed up in July chose the cheaper ad-supported Netflix plan - the highest since the plan was launched in November - an increase of 4 percentage points from a month earlier, Antenna said.

The research firm sources its streaming data from transaction records such as online purchase receipts and banking information.

(Reporting by Jaspreet Singh and Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai)