After many years of casting a blind eye, Netflix has started cracking down on password sharers. This doesn’t mean you can’t share your passwords again. You only need to pay an extra fee for sharing your password outside your household. Below, you will find more information on this topic.
Netflix decided to end the era of sharing passwords for free. For a company that once professed love for it with the tweet Love is sharing a password, you may wonder what changed their mind.
With over 100 million households worldwide using shared accounts, Netflix started looking for ways to turn these free users into paying customers. After brainstorming, they finally decided on a system that blocks password sharing by every means possible and introduced a password-sharing fee.
Even if you are one of the affected users, you can agree that this is a big opportunity for Netflix to increase its revenue. Read on to discover when this new era will begin and what it means for you if you’re part of the affected users.
Why Netflix is Concerned about Password-sharers?
In 2016, Reed Hastings, the Netflix CEO, said that users sharing their account details was positive. To be precise, he considered it as a strategy for creating exponential growth in Netflix’s customer base.
This growth didn’t happen, as Netflix reported a fall in its number of subscribers earlier in 2022. Many Netflix users prefer using a shared account to opening their own. This led to a revenue loss for the streaming company. Not surprisingly, password sharing took the blame.
Also, there have been changes in the streaming environment in recent years. In 2016, Hasting may have chosen to be calm regarding password sharing since there was little competition. Today, Netflix is contending with other streaming sites like Disney+, Apple TV+, and HBO Max.
Looking at the tight competition in the streaming market, Netflix can’t allow anyone to use its platform for free. It needs to get all the money it can get from people using the platform. Moreover, it seems that Netflix’s crackdown on password sharers is working as paying users join the platform.
How Will Netflix Know When You Share Someone Else’s Password?
When you log in to its servers through a browser or app, Netflix can get specific information. This information includes your IP address, account activity, and device ID. A confluence of this information can tell your current location and if your location is the same as that of the account owner.
It can also verify your device by asking you to type a 4-digit code, which will be delivered to the primary account holder. With all this, we can say the streaming giant has a few tricks to help detect password-sharers. If you are one of them, you may be caught soon.
How Much Can the Password-Sharers Pay?
The prices released so far vary by country. For instance, Standard and Premium subscribers in the United States are to pay $7.99 for each sub-account, while users in Spain pay 5.99€.
You can visit Netflix’s help center regarding the pricing plan for your country.
Is Sharing Netflix Password Illegal?
Technically, yes. The US appellate court ordered in 2016 that sharing your online password is a crime. Also, sharing your Netflix password with people outside your household is a technical breach of the terms and conditions of the streaming platform. Although, there is no record of anyone getting tried in court for disclosing their password. However, we aren’t sure about the future.
How Will the Netflix Password Crackdown Work?
Netflix has implemented various strategies that can aid its password-sharing crackdown, and it will impose a penalty for sharing Netflix accounts. From asking users to verify their devices to creating options that allow users to subscribe to their accounts, Netflix will require users to pay an extra fee to share their password with people not in their households.
According to Netflix’s 2022 Quarter Three report, the streaming company allowed password-borrowers to transfer their Netflix profile to their account. It also added a feature that lets the sharers manage the devices attached to their account and pay for an extra member if they want.
With all these strategies put in place, Netflix can start blocking users who are using a paid account for free.
Who Pays the Password-sharing Fee?
If you are willing to share your Netflix password, be ready to pay for the extra cost. That means you pay the additional cost as the account owner for every person you invite to join the extra member slot.
Each extra person will have a different login credential from the account holder. This is why Netflix doesn’t regard this as password sharing anymore but as paid account sharing. So, if you are an account holder, note that you will pay for both your regular subscription plan and the new account for each person you invite.
How Can Netflix Stop Me from Sharing My Password?
Netflix can stop you from sharing your account password by checking locations through IP addresses. Anyone using an account not linked to the holder’s household location must put down a 4-digit verification code delivered to the account’s registered email address or phone number. The person has just 15 minutes to type that code before continuing to use the account.
The streaming company stated that it won’t automatically charge you for sharing your account with someone who isn’t living with you. People in your household can use the account, even if they travel. However, they might also need to verify their device occasionally. That is why the streamer requires that users should at least use the account once every 31 days in the account holder’s primary location.
What Time Will My Country Get the Password-Sharing Fees?
Netflix has launched the crackdown in over 100 countries, including the United States, Canada, Portugal, New Zealand, Spain, Australia, Singapore, and France. Earlier this year, the company indicated that the crackdown will occur globally over the next few quarters. However, Netflix has not given a timeframe for other countries to get charged.
How is Netflix Going to Enforce it? If I Share, Will My Account Get Blocked?
Users in already-launched countries must have received the email. This email explains how you can transfer your Netflix profile to a new account or opt for paying to share your account.
With this new policy, only users within the same household of the account owner can share the account. For others, if they try logging into the account, they will receive a notification telling them to choose between being added as an extra member at an added fee or transferring their profile to a new Netflix account using Profile Transfer. If the account holder wants to share passwords with outsiders, they must use a standard or premium plan.
The streamer’s policy relies on the account’s primary location and the devices connecting to a WiFi network at that location. If the primary location isn’t set, Netflix can automatically select one using the account activity and IP address. However, its help center page said that setting up a primary location is optional if you do not stream Netflix on your TV.
When traveling, Netflix designed a method that can help differentiate you from non-household members. This method indicates that you must log into the account at least once in 31 days in the primary location. That can help you avoid any disruption.
Previously, Netflix confirmed that users can get blocked if they continuously try accessing an account in a different location besides the primary one. However, that is no longer on their help center page. So, it remains to be seen how Netflix plans on enforcing this rule on its users.
What Can Affected Users Do?
As an affected user, you have three options:
- You can tell the account holder to buy an extra-member slot for you as a non-household member for $7.99 monthly.
- You can get your personal Netflix account as standard with-ads plan for $6.99 per month.
- You can switch to a competing streaming site that doesn’t care about password sharing, like Disney Plus.
Can I Share My Low-price Standard Account with Outsiders?
So far, there is no way you can share your account if you are using a Standard with ads plan. This feature only applies to members using the Premium and Standard plans. Standard plan users have only one slot for an extra member, while Premium plan users have two.
Can an Extra Member Sub Account Have Any Restrictions?
Yes. Every extra member account can only stream on one device at a time. That also involves downloads, which can only be stored in one device.
There are also restrictions regarding the number of profiles they can have. They can have just one profile, either a new one or a transferred one from a different account. You must also create the sub-account in a country similar to the account holder’s. After creating the account, you are free to stream from anywhere worldwide.
Is it Possible to Lose My Recommendations if I Leave Someone Else’s Account or Create a Sub-account?
Netflix launched a Profile transfer function that can prevent you from losing all your recommendations when you create a new account or a sub-account. This feature allows the transfer of your recommendation and watch history to a new account. You can then join the new account with someone else’s Premium or Standard account as an additional member or use it to subscribe to your own membership plan.
However, note that it’s currently not possible to transfer your Kids’ profile to this new account. You can still switch off the Kid’s experience in a profile, making it easier to transfer the profile.
Did Netflix Leak Information by Mistake and Take it Down?
In a way, they did! Netflix’s help page varies between countries. If you toggle between countries on that page, you will notice the different policies that apply to each market.
Earlier this year, Netflix kept information about password-sharing on its help center page. This information was posted on the pages for Costa Rica, Peru, and Chile as Netflix tested the account-sharing fees in these countries. This same information was also published in other countries where the scheme has yet to launch.
However, when Netflix noticed this error, it immediately removed the post from its pages. Since then, the streamer has continuously updated each country’s pages regarding the account-sharing policy. So even the leaked information doesn’t matter anymore.
How Did Netflix Decide on These Fees?
Netflix started this password-sharing scheme in March 2022 by testing a model in Cole, Peru, and Costa Rica. It also tested out a different model in Latin America.
By July 2022, the company announced it was testing a new method in El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Guatemala. That new method introduced the concept of the primary account location being the home base of the membership. It also enabled the service to detect if any streaming occurs outside the home for at least two weeks and notify the account owner to pay for the additional homes.
The era of Netflix account sharing for free has come to an end. With this new policy that allows only members living in the same household to share one account, we can say the crackdown has begun. If you have a friend that you still wish to share your account with, the first thing to ensure is that you subscribed to a Standard or Premium plan. Then, you can add that person to the extra slot for an additional fee and automatically create a profile for them in your Netflix account.