It’s pretty common to have Netflix users share their passwords with others. Many of these password sharing is “legitimate” according to Netflix co-founder and chief executive Reed Hastings. According to Hastings, if you share with your spouse or kids, it’s fine. However, password sharing on Netflix is now beyond close associates. A recent report shows that Netflix may crackdown on the password sharing of its users. It will now monitor the account and password sharing behavior on its streaming video platform.
Some users have received a warning message: “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching”. After that, the user will be prompted to verify the account with an email or text verification code or register a separate Netflix account.
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Netflix told The Streamable that the test “is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized”. It is unclear whether the warning was issued based on IP addresses or other indicators.
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Password sharing on Netflix is pretty common
Netflix’s terms of service do prohibit users from sharing passwords with people outside the home, but many people still do. As early as 2020, Netflix Chief Product Officer Greg Peters told The Wall Street Journal that Netflix will monitor password sharing.
The streaming service provider also has restrictions on the number of devices that can play streaming content at the same time. The basic package of $8.99 restricts one device to play, while the package of $13.99 allows playback on two devices. The $17.99 package allows playback on up to four devices.
There are always terms and conditions for streaming platforms with respect to multiple profiles. These terms usually restrict the profile to people within the same household. The likes of Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ all have such services.
Back in 2016, Hastings 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, so there’s no bright line, and we’re doing fine as is.”
However, as of 2019, the company was already looking into the issue of password sharing. At the time, there were no big plans to announce anything new. Presently, the streaming service provider has over 200 million subscribers globally. In 2020 alone, it gained about 27 million new subscribers.