Why Netflix is Clamping Down on Password Sharing

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After years of being open-minded about users sharing their passwords with friends and family, Netflix is finally pulling the plug on password sharing. But why?

Why There Won’t Be Password Sharing on Netflix

When was the last time you shared your account password to any platform with a friend or family member? Well, the most sensible thing to do when dealing with online accounts is usually to keep your passwords private and never share them with anyone. It could be your password to, say, your go-to iGaming site like Vulkan Vegas casino or even something as simple as your email account. Interestingly, streaming platforms have, for the longest time, been the exception to the rule, with Netflix being the most infamous.


In a move that has been a blow to tons of sub-members, the world’s largest streaming platform, Netflix, recently announced that the era of account password sharing is coming to an end. The streaming giant recently disclosed that it would begin charging people to share accounts to encourage more users to pay for their own memberships. Following this drastic announcement, the platform has faced backlash online from thousands of critics who are unhappy with the decision.


Netflix’s 2017 Tweet that ‘Love is sharing a password’ has even been dug up by trolls who had a field day dragging the company. Nonetheless, despite the criticisms, it appears that the streaming platform is sticking to its guns on the way forward, with the new policy already being rolled out in some pilot countries. So, what could have pushed the streaming wars’ top contender to make this decision? Let’s try to make sense of it all.


How Netflix Has Rationalized the Move

In a recent blog post, Netflix clarified its stance of choosing to clamp down on password sharing, which in all honesty, is justified. The company directly attributed password sharing to its dwindling revenue numbers. Indeed, there’s been a slump in new Netflix subscribers for the first time in over a decade of dominating streaming wars. The slowed-down subscription rate has, in turn, hurt its ability to produce quality content for its members.


So, it remains to be seen the effect this move will have on the platform’s subscriber count, as thousands online have vowed to jump ship and switch to other streaming platforms. Some online users are even considering going back to the good old times when Torrent downloads were the order of the day.


Well, while it may all seem like trolling, these views should worry Netflix, mainly because the platform lost 970,000 subscribers in the second quarter of 2022. It was the biggest subscriber loss the streaming giant has faced in its 25 years of existence, and another membership exodus won’t do it any favors.


How Will Netflix Crack the Whip on Password Sharing?

For over two decades, the default Netflix user option has been that one account can host up to five profiles at a go. Now, under the new set of rules, these profiles will change to sub-accounts that will cost money to the primary account holder. Password sharing has now been moved exclusively for people who live together in the same household, i.e., people who live under one roof with the account owner.


However, if you live in a separate household, the new rules dictate that you must sign up for your own Netflix account to enjoy the streaming service. When a user who isn’t in your household tries to access your account, you, as the primary subscriber, will be contacted by Netflix to approve the user as a verified account. After accommodating these extra members under your account, you will have to cater to their membership fees as the primary subscriber.


That said, most parts of the world will get some time to take in the news of this bombshell that Netflix has just dropped on millions of its subscribers. However, if you are a subscriber in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain, the new policy on paid password sharing has already taken effect. As for the rest of the world, the streaming platform has said it will implement this feature periodically over the coming quarters.


In the countries where Netflix has rolled out paid password sharing, here is how much more primary subscribers will be paying for adding a new user outside their household to their account:

Country Price Per Extra Sub-member
Canada 7.99 CAD ($5.96)
New Zealand 7.99 NZD ($5.09)
Spain €5.99 ($6.45)
Portugal €3.99 ($4.30)


Parting Shot

Netflix’s move to keep password sharing in check is brave, albeit very risky, amid the raging streaming wars against other giants like Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and Peacock. So, things can either go very well for Netflix to a point where other streaming services will follow suit, or the new policy may end up imploding in its face. Only time will tell!


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