Netflix pushes ahead with password sharing crackdown

After months of testing in Latin America, Netflix has commenced its heavily-flagged crackdown on password sharing. Starting now, the SVOD streamer is introducing limits on password sharing in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain.

In a blog, the company said: “We’ve always made it easy for people who live together to share their Netflix account with features like profiles and multiple streams. While these have been hugely popular, they’ve also created confusion about when and how you can share Netflix. Today, over 100m households are sharing accounts — impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films. So over the last year, we’ve been exploring different approaches to address this issue in Latin America, and we’re now ready to roll them out more broadly, starting today in Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain.”

Going forward, subscribers in impacted countries will be asked to set up a primary location, ensuring anyone who lives in this household can use the Netflix account. They will be able to manage access from a new Manage Access and Devices page.

When travelling, subscribers can still “easily watch Netflix on their personal devices or log into a new TV, like at a hotel or holiday rental”. They also have the option of buying an extra member: “Members on our Standard or Premium plan can add an extra member sub account for up to two people they don’t live with — each with a profile, recommendations, login and password — for an extra CAD$7.99 a month per person in Canada, NZD$7.99 in New Zealand, €3.99 in Portugal, and €5.99 in Spain.

The move is not expected to go down well with Netflix users – with young people using their friends’ or families’ accounts likely to be most affected. As yet, it is difficult to calculate the scale of the impact on revenues. While there’s a chance that Netflix will be able to grow its subscriber base of 231 million, it may see a drop in overall usage, some switching to other platforms and drop in brand equity measures like ‘brand love’.

In its blog, Netflix said: “We value our members and recognise that they have many entertainment choices. A Netflix account is intended for one household and members can choose from a range of plans with different features. As always, we’ll refine these new features based on member feedback so that we continue to improve Netflix.”

Tags: Netflix

Most Recent