Netflix testing feature that seeks to prevent users from sharing passwords

Netflix Debt
Posted at 9:50 AM, Mar 12, 2021

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The days of sharing your Netflix account with friends and extended family may be numbered. The streaming giant appears to be running a test cracking down on password sharing.

As first reported by The Streamable, a select number of Netflix users began receiving a message this week asking them to verify their accounts via email or text. If they can’t, they’re prompted to start their own account with a free 30-day trial.

“If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching,” the message reads, according to screenshots. It’s not yet clear if users need to be on the same IP address to be considered in the same household.

Netflix has commented on the crackdown in a statement, saying, “This test is designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so.”

Although it’s commonplace now to share passwords with others, especially during the pandemic, Netflix’s terms of use do explicitly say its service and any of its content “are for personal use and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.”

Netflix has been the king of streaming for years now, but with more and more platforms popping up, customers are having to choose which services to keep paying for and the company is likely trying to retain its dominance in the market.

A survey conducted by research company Magid found about a third of subscribers to platforms like Netflix share their password with someone outside their household. With so many services to pay for, people often split the burden, each paying for a few and sharing their accounts with each other.

As for Netflix pricing, after a 30-day trial, you can pay $8.99 a month for the streamer’s “basic” plan, where only one screen can stream at any given time. The next plan, “standard,” costs $13.99 per month and Netflix can be streamed on two screens at a time. The company’s “premium” plan costs $17.99 a month and four screens can stream at the same time.