Netflix is trying to crack down on password sharing

Netflix is currently testing how to stop people from sharing passwords

Netflix
(Image credit: NurPhoto / Getty Images)

Netflix has announced that they will be attempting to crack down on users of their platform sharing accounts.

The immensely popular streaming platform Netflix is trying out a new policy with select customers that will encourage users to sign up for a separate account if they are not paying for the subscription. The message from Netflix reads, “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.” 

This message will appear on some select users of Netflix. However, some viewers have been given the option to delay verification and continue using the site under the account that they are logged into.

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A Netflix spokesperson states, “This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so.” The streaming site allegedly tried “hundreds” of tests every year with a select number of users.

Previously Netflix has had a lenient approach to users sharing passwords to access their site. Reed Hastings, the company’s co-founder and co-chief executive, said, “Password sharing is something you have to learn to live with because there’s so much legitimate password sharing, like you sharing with your spouse, with your kids,” he said. “So there’s no bright line, and we’re doing fine as is.”

This statement was made in 2016, and evidently, the company has changed its policy since then. 

Research firm Magid estimated that around a third of Netflix users are sharing their passwords with someone. Another study from Cordcutting.com found that globally more than 40 million Netflix accounts were being borrowed by non-paying users.

Fans of Netflix have been shocked by this announcement. One fan said, "I literally don't know anyone that pays for their account. They gonna lose like 70% of traffic haha." 

Another fan was confused about how this would be put into place, "How’s this gonna work? What about people who use multiple devices throughout the day? They gonna do a fingerprint scan lol."

Netflix’s basic plan costs $8.99 per month for one screen service. To up the account to two screens, Netflix’s standard plan costs $13.99 per month. 

Netflix announced this year that it had more than 200 million global subscribers. Netflix also gained 37 million new subscribers in 2020. The streaming service made nearly $25 billion in revenue and almost $2.8 billion in profit last year.