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Netflix: Crackdown on password sharing to start later this quarter

20 Jan 2023 | Rasmus Larsen |

Netflix has confirmed that a crackdown on password sharing will roll out more broadly later this quarter, after initial testing in Latin America. Multiple approaches will be employed.

- "Later in Q1, we expect to start rolling out paid sharing more broadly. Today’s widespread account sharing (100M+ households) undermines our long term ability to invest in and improve Netflix, as well as build our business. While our terms of use limit use of Netflix to a household, we recognize this is a change for members who share their account more broadly," Netflix wrote in its Q4 earnings report.

Netflix has returned to significant growth, adding 7.66 million additional streaming subscriptions in Q4 alone, but it estimates that over 100 million households share accounts globally. It wants these households to pay up.

Netflix will take multiple approaches to cracking down on the practice:
  • Screen prompts to inform the user about the situation
  • Users can now see which devices are using a Netflix account, and in which countries these devices are located. The user can revoke access for specific devices.
  • It will let users transfer an existing Netflix user profile to a newly created account, thus allowing users to retain their watchlist and more.
  • In some countries it will also let users pay extra to share an account with people outside of their household.
  • Possibly other yet-to-be-announced methods.

    You can still travel with Netflix

    The company assured subscribers that they will still be able to travel with their Netflix account. It is unclear how Netflix can separate traveling from account sharing, but it will likely use multiple data points on locations, devices, and usage patterns. - "As is the case today, all members will be able to watch while traveling, whether on a TV or mobile device," confirmed Netflix. The crackdown will start to roll out in earnest later this quarter, likely in March as Netflix says that it does not expect it to have a material impact on its financial results until Q2 2023.

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