They’ve been hinting at it, but now it’s happening – the end of password sharing is coming to Netflix in 2023, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In a feature piece going into what’s happening, the paper says Netflix reportedly identified password sharing as a significant problem in 2019. Still, the company was concerned about how to address it without alienating consumers.
Then came COVID, and with subscriber numbers surging thanks to lockdowns, the issue was put on the back burner. It wasn’t until this year, when subscriber losses mounted, that it became an issue again.
More than 100 million Netflix viewers now watch the service using passwords they borrow – often from family members or friends. To boost slowing growth, especially in the U.S. market, Netflix will reportedly end that arrangement by asking people who share accounts to pay to do so.
The company will reportedly begin rolling out the change in the U.S. early in 2023. Netflix is expected to enforce its rules based on IP addresses, device IDs and account activity. To help mitigate consumer backlash, they have reportedly talked about “dialling up the pressure on password sharing gradually”.
Though U.S. plans haven’t been announced yet, the company has been running tests in Latin American countries where Netflix lets subscribers pay to share accounts with up to two people outside their homes.
Rather than blocking password borrowers, Netflix prompts them to enter a verification code sent to the primary account owner – said code must be entered within 15 minutes. Netflix has received complaints from consumers about the effort, but many are still opting to pay for sharing.
Source: The Wall Street Journal