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Home » Netflix Offers Insight into Ending Password Sharing

Netflix Offers Insight into Ending Password Sharing

02 February 2023, Thursday
Netflix has already indicated that it is prepared to enforce new regulations concerning password sharing in the United States. Three other countries have already witnessed the changes that could soon be implemented for American users.

In a letter to shareholders last month, Netflix declared their intention to introduce paid account sharing on a wider scale by the end of the first quarter of 2023. The streaming service believes this is necessary, as the current account sharing policy is impacting their capability to invest in and enhance Netflix. According to their estimations, more than 100 million households are presently sharing accounts.

In an open letter, executives stated their expectations of some users cancelling their accounts upon the introduction of paid password sharing. While the specifics of how this will be enforced and at what cost were not disclosed, it was suggested that “borrower households” will start new accounts.

Netflix has been exploring methods to limit password sharing, which includes a log-in verification in 2021 and the option of using sub-accounts for those living outside the owner's home in 2022. This has been recently trialed in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru, with Netflix altering the relevant help pages of all three nations this week.

Within the home of the account holder, referred to as their "primary location", anyone can use the Netflix account. If someone is outside of that location, they must use their own account.

Account holders need to set their primary location when signed into Netflix on a TV connected to their home Wi-Fi network. Subsequently, any devices connected to the same network in the primary location should have access to the holder's Netflix account. Nevertheless, attempting to access the account from any other locations may be restricted. If an account owner fails to set their primary location, Netflix states that it will automatically implement the setting based on their IP addresses, device identifiers, and account activity.

Netflix users are expected to view at least one piece of content within a period of 31 days in order to maintain the link between their devices and the main location that has been set up.

In order to provide access to their Netflix account to someone outside the primary location, the account holder is able to add an additional user to their account for a small fee.

Netflix users in these three countries may face streaming blocks on some devices if they attempt to access the platform while traveling or after relocating. When this happens, Netflix advises that users should watch something at their original location to set up a “trusted device” or get a temporary code to prove their device and get a full week of streaming.

It is uncertain how accounts with plans that facilitate the use of multiple screens will be affected by these modifications. Likewise, it is not known if the same system will be applied in the U.S, as Netflix has not yet replied to queries from Nexstar about this matter.

Netflix is altering its approach to dealing with password sharing, contrary to the company's previous position. Reed Hastings, who relinquished his role as CEO last month, claimed in 2016 that Netflix would not charge users for password sharing, but rather that they should "learn to live with it," as reported by CNBC.

In November, Netflix launched a fourth plan, called "Basic with Ads", which includes an average of 4 to 5 minutes of ads per hour, but does not provide access to the service's full library. This is contrary to the service's long-standing position that ads are a distraction from the entertainment it provides. CEO Reed Hastings has been vocal about his opposition to ads.

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