Netflix Cracks Down On Password Sharing


If you’ve been using your friend’s Netflix account to watch the newest releases, you may just have to get out your credit card. 

Netflix has made it clear that they are not tolerating password sharing any longer. Currently, they are the biggest streaming service in the world, with lower competitors such as Disney+ and Hulu rising to join it in subscriber count. By the end of the fourth quarter of 2022, the streaming giant had over 231 million registered accounts, which would probably be a notably higher number if people didn’t share their login with non-paying friends.

In fact, it is estimated that 100 million households are using shared accounts. This opportunity for additional income is likely the biggest contributing factor to these new strict guidelines. The company’s previous attitudes about password sharing seemed to be lighthearted- in 2017, Netflix tweeted “Love is sharing a password,” seemingly promoting the idea, but now they are taking extra security measures to ensure shared accounts are a relic of the past.

Although the exact plans are not yet known, Netflix is currently testing regulations in Peru, Chile and Costa Rica that goes as the following: In order to keep your account, you must log in under your home Wi-Fi network at least once every 31 days and watch a title each time (you do not have to view the full video). Netflix also published these changes into their United States Help Center this past Tuesday, reportedly by accident. It is unclear if the guidelines to take place in the US will be similar to the ones that were mistakenly issued, but some sources assume they will be rolled-out in late March. 

In a statement to shareholders, Netflix stated, “We believe we have a clear path to accelerate our revenue growth,” implying that the changes are being put in place to reverse the economic impact of Netflix’s declining subscriber base. 

Viewers have responded negatively to the decision, claiming that this is just another example of corporate greed- their point could be backed up by the fact that Netflix rakes in billions of dollars a year in profit. In fact, last year they pulled about $4.4B, which was their first decline since 2012. 

One big question is whether or not this resolution will actually help Netflix. One user on Twitter states, “I’ve stopped even watching Netflix original content, because it almost feels pointless. Why get invested in a show that they are definitely going to cancel?” Another asks, “Hey @netflix, you know your content isn’t good enough for your removal of password sharing, right?” Hit shows like ”Stranger Things” and ”Wednesday” have brought a lot of attention to the platform, often gaining more subscribers whose only intent is to watch the anticipated show and then cancel their plan. 

Is their original content enough to keep the platform running, however? Will the enforcement backfire on the company? Will people eventually see Netflix as a scam? These questions will be answered with economical data from Netflix in the upcoming months.