Netflix Lists Rules to Prevent Password Sharing

Muhammad Razief Razqie . February 02, 2023

Picture: LADbible

Techspace - Netflix finally revealed details on its plans to stop people from sharing their family plan passwords – a practice that is hurting its overall revenue despite its popularity among its viewer. 

Netflix had previously warned this clampdown was coming and was necessary in order to stem the tide of subscribers giving up on the service for various reasons. Netflix's falling subscriber figures have come alongside the rise of rivals such as Disney+, as many users look to cut down on costs during the current cost of living crisis, or simply to protest Netflix's spontaneous cancellation decisions. 

The FAQ pages for US and UK subscribers currently highlight that devices may require verification if they are not associated with the Netflix household or if they attempt to access an account outside the subscriber's primary location for an extended period of time. To ensure devices are associated with the primary location, Netflix will ask users to connect to the Wi-Fi once every 31 days.

“A primary location is set by a TV that is signed into your account and is connected to your Wi-Fi network. All other devices signed into your account on that Wi-Fi network will be associated with your primary location and will be able to use Netflix,” the help page says.

The details were gathered by The Streamable, revealing that freeloading users can transfer their profile history into a new account without losing preferences, likes, dislikes, and other personal data.

Traveling and playing Netflix on a device not at home will require the user to request a temporary code for logging in, giving access to the account for seven days. Interestingly, these details are not available for access in markets outside the United States & Canada, suggesting that Netflix might implement the change only for the North American region for now.

The plan to convert "borrowers" - those who are currently using Netflix accounts that are owned by separate households - to paid subscribers is expected to roll out by the end of March, with the introduction of account-sharing restrictions and extra member fees in more countries.

The changes are designed to be a "gentle nudge" to those to don't pay, Peters concluded, though it's easy to see how some level of account sharing could remain.

Changes are Coming to The Platform

Picture: Inc. Magazine

The streaming company has made a ton of efforts to get more paying users on its platform. In November, it launched a cheaper $6.99 ad-supported monthly plan in the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Japan, Korea, and Brazil. Meanwhile, it has also launched tools to kick devices off a subscription and transfer a profile from one membership to another to stop account sharing.

All these efforts have brought in more subscribers to the service. During its recent Q4 2022 quarterly results, the company said it added 7.7 million subscribers — much higher than the anticipated 4.5 million additions.

Netflix will go through a product overhaul under the new co-CEO Greg Peters (formerly COO) after founder Reed Hastings stepped down from the post last month. At the same time, the company said that it will crack down on password sharing “more broadly” in the coming months. Extra member fees will likely come to more countries soon.

With numerous significant changes coming to Netflix, especially on its password sharing, it is unknown whether viewers will remain loyal to the streaming platform. Even before the password-sharing crackdown was officially announced, the once-a-rumor crackdown was met with heavy criticism among viewers of the streaming service. Now that it’s more than likely official, we can expect even heavier criticism for these changes.

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