Netflix begins account sharing crackdown in the U.S. [wafact]

Netflix account sharing email.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

Netflix today announced that it’s going to start notifying subscribers in the U.S. who are sharing passwords that it’s time to pay up — $8, to be precise. The world’s largest streaming service says it’s sending emails to “members who are sharing Netflix outside their household” that will detail their options.

Known as “extra member slots,” the extra $8 will allow the former freeloaders to watch Netflix on one device at a time, and download content onto a single device at a time for offline viewing. They’ll also have their own profile, but cannot create additional profiles. (The profile can be transferred from the main account, also known as the “home account.”) And the extra member has to live in the same country as the home account.

One other catch — in order to purchase the “extra member slots,” you’ll have to be billed by Netflix directly. If you’re paying through your wireless provider or some other system, you’re out of luck.

“We recognize that our members have many entertainment choices,” Netflix wrote in the news post announcing the long-expected change. “It’s why we continue to invest heavily in a wide variety of new films and TV shows — so whatever your taste, mood or language and whoever you’re watching with, there’s always something satisfying to watch on Netflix.”

The account sharing crackdown comes months after Netflix first said it was stop its long-standing policy of nodding and winking at (if not outright condoning) sharing your account — also known as “password sharing” — with someone who’s not actually in the home of the person who owns the account. While there certainly are instances where that maybe could be considered legitimate — such as an adult child who’s away at college and doesn’t have the income for a full Netflix account — there were some 100 million accounts being shared worldwide, and that simply had become too big a number for Netflix to ignore any longer, especially as streaming services no longer can sit back and watch their revenue streams continue to climb every quarter.

Netflix ended the first quarter of 2023 with 232.5 million subscribers globally.

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