Friday Five: Netflix hints at password-sharing crackdown
Zone’s Ross Basham handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…
1. Netflix hints at password-sharing crackdown
Netflix has hinted it will crack down on households sharing passwords as it seeks to sign up new members following a sharp fall in subscribers. The number of households using Netflix fell by 200,000 in the first three months of the year as it faced stiff competition from rivals, raised prices and left Russia.
Netflix said another two million subscribers were likely to leave in the three months to July. It estimates more than 100 million households are breaking its rules by sharing passwords. Boss Reed Hastings said: “When we were growing fast, account sharing wasn’t a high priority to work on. And now we’re working super hard on it.”
2. New laws to stamp out on fake online reviews
The UK government is issuing new legislation and reforms to help protect consumers as it clamps down on fake reviews, online rip-offs and subscription traps. The reforms will also give the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) more powers to support consumers and crack down on rogue traders.
New laws will make it clearly illegal to pay someone to write, host, commission or facilitate a fake review so people are not cheated by bogus ratings. Businesses will also now have to make it much easier for consumers to opt out of subscriptions and remind consumers that a free trial or low-cost introductory offer is coming to an end.
3. Energy brands see brand health tumble
With the energy sector facing its most challenging period in decades amid geopolitical crises and inflated prices, Ofgem has added to concerns by cautioning energy firms over “bad practices” and “troubling signs” that some have reacted to the disruption by “allowing levels of customer service to deteriorate”.
Indeed, according to YouGov’s BrandIndex tool, all of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies (British Gas, E.On, Scottish Power, SSE, EDF Energy and Npower), plus up-and-comer Octopus Energy, have seen the health of their brands take a significant hitsince the onset of the energy crisis more than six months ago.
4. Prioritise to achieve performance payback
Content is integral to how the customer experience is shaped, and brands will win by creating superior experiences for both their employees and for their target audiences. The foundation of such experiences will be relevant, engaging content optimised for effectiveness by use of data-driven insights and technology.
In this special Zone report, we assess how fit for purpose current approaches and organisational structures are for delivering content-based experiences across a range of sectors, including findings from a research poll of 100 decision-makers in marketing and commercial roles that support our observations.
5. Watching TV in self-driving cars to be allowed
Great news for telly addicts — people using self-driving cars will be allowed to watch television on built-in screens under proposed updates to the Highway Code. The first use of self-driving technology is likely to be when travelling at slow speeds on motorways, such as in congested traffic.
No self-driving cars are currently allowed on UK roads, but the first vehicles capable of driving themselves could be ready for use later this year. However, the changes will say TV-watching drivers must be ready to take back control of vehicles when prompted. So maybe don’t watch anything too engrossing, eh?