Netflix is cracking down on freeloaders and changing password sharing to limit only users in a single household to be able to share the same password. This isn’t a new announcement as the streaming giant made these plans public in 2022. However, things are finally in place, and we have a date when these limits will come into play.
Last year, Netflix announced its plans to restrict password sharing to a single household. This was always the intention behind the multiple account option. However, there weren’t any measures in place to enforce this. This led to users sharing their Netflix passwords with friends and family that don’t even live in the same area. Hilarious stories of broken-up relationships where one partner still secretly uses their exes’ Netflix have been plenty.
Netflix is putting a stop to this and limiting users from accessing Netflix accounts that don’t belong to their households. This change will start rolling out at the end of March 2023. It’s expected that this change will affect millions of users. Netflix knows this, as the COO, Gregory K. Peters, mentioned on a call with investors that this will be a largely unpopular move. Any situation where you expect users to pay more, or just pay in this case, is usually met with resistance.
However, that doesn’t mean that Netflix is doing anything wrong, or trying to squeeze every cent out of users. They simply want users who aren’t paying and aren’t part of a paying household, to pay for the service. This is not unrealistic, as users still expect the streaming service to provide top-quality viewing content – which costs a lot in licensing fees.
Netflix has also tested out ways to make this change as simple and affordable as possible. The first feature was tested in countries like Peru, Costa Rica, and Chile last year. During these test runs, users outside of the account holder’s household could create a sub-account for only $2-$3, instead of the full price. This model will be introduced to other countries at the end of March, however, we still need confirmation of what the cost will be for a sub-account in the US.
Alongside this, Netflix is also rolling out a feature that will make it easy for users to create their own accounts while still keeping their preferences, viewing history, etc. To do this, viewers only need to select the ‘Transfer Profile’ option listed in the dropdown menu when they hover over their profile image.
Netflix is also still in the testing phases of an advertising-funded plan. This plan will be the cheapest tier, almost $4 cheaper than Netflix’s entry-level plan, but it will contain the occasional ad – much like regular television.
By taking these steps, and providing many different options for users to continue enjoying the service, Netflix will be coming down on password sharing.
While we know that many users will be upset by this, it’s an essential move to keep the platform releasing quality content. We also don’t expect that Netflix will be the only streaming platform taking such steps. Everyone is trying to save money wherever possible, so it makes sense that other streaming platforms might look at doing the same.