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Hey, kids: Please start paying for your own Netflix accounts

Hey, kids: Please start paying for your own Netflix accounts

Here are some things in the D.C. area that cost $11 or slightly more: the nachos at Busboys and Poets, a glass of Jean Luc Mader Riesling at Vinoteca, three sliders at the Matchbox in Chinatown. And here are some things in the D.C. area that cost $15 or so: a Manhattan Project No. 6 at Columbia Room, a do-it-yourself cocktail mixture at Dan’s Café if you’re looking to spend a bit more for something a bit trashier, an UberX from Eastern Market to the AMC theater in Georgetown.

None of these items could be deemed extravagances, and few of the area’s hard-working professional types would think twice before spending their money on them. (A suggested outing to Dan’s might spur some second thoughts, but not due to cost.) I chose these modest entertainments to highlight how cheap subscriptions to streaming services really are.

A standard Netflix plan will run you $10.99 a month. Subscribing to HBO via Amazon Prime Video costs just $14.99 a month. (Jeffrey P. Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, owns The Post.) For less than the cost of an Imax movie ticket in many markets, these services provide you with hundreds of movies (only dozens of which are actually worth watching, granted, but still) and an enormous back catalogue of TV shows: “The Sopranos,” “Deadwood,” “The Wire,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Oz” on HBO; “Stranger Things,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “House of Cards” on Netflix. All for the price of a cocktail, a car ride, a slice of avocado toast, a paperback book, a couple of lattes.

And yet! Despite this bounty laid before us — despite the ease of signing up, the quality of the programming, the fact that the entertainment comes right to your TV without you having to do much more than lift your left arm and grab the remote — a number of people are still too cheap to pay for all that goodness.

As Jonathan Behr recently noted at Forbes, password-sharing of the aforementioned services and others like them is a blight upon our otherwise civilized nation: “A recent survey from media research firm Magid found roughly 35% of all young consumers share their passwords, well above the 19% of Generation Xers and 13% of Baby Boomers who partake in this practice. According to Magid, post-millennials aged 21 and younger share passwords at an alarming rate of 42%.”

Read the rest of Sonny Bunch’s take on what he declares the free-rider problem.

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