Netflix’s password-sharing crackdown begins

Is it done, Netflix? No, it only has just begun

Netflix has been sharing plans to stop users from sharing their passwords. This was a long-running feature of the platform and is what made them more widespread as users can just enter their credentials to another person’s home and watch from there, without having the need to create a new account which requires payment.

Due to the company’s losses in 2020 and the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Netflix has been strategically deciding on how to make up for it. One idea they thought of is to destroy the foundation that made them well-loved by users: password-sharing.

Netflix Household confirmation. Image from Yugatech

It seems like the password-sharing crackdown has taken place. When a user opens Netflix on an unverified household, they will be greeted by the confirmation above. Last year, the company introduced “Add a Home” which allows you to add another household using the same account but with a fee.

The company has also started sending out emails notifying users that it would disable users who are sharing their accounts outside of their household if unconfirmed within 30 days.

In April 2022, the company experienced its first mass subscriber losses due to stiff competition from the likes of Disney Plus, HBO Max, Hulu, etc. Because of this, the company has started to lose the rights to certain movies and TV shows owned by these companies. In addition, it has been cancelling potentially decent shows that do not fit their criteria.

Another way for the company to regain the losses is by adding an ad tier subscription. This plan is much more affordable than the basic plan but you would be constantly bombarded with ads.

Of course, users are not happy with the decision and even go as far as recall Netflix’s 2017 tweet Love is sharing a password. As of today, the tweet is still up, surprisingly. Under that post, individual users and even companies poked fun of it, even UNO, which showed a GIF of the reverse card.

It might also be high time for Blockbuster to make a comeback. They even called out their hypocrisy.

Netflix is aware of the negative reception it got from these decisions. The company has tested out this paid home-sharing plan in areas like New Zealand and Australia. The company sent out letters to its stockholders that password limitation is a “cancel reaction in each market” followed by “increased acquisition in revenue” after borrowers activated their accounts.

Despite the overwhelmingly negative reception, Netflix called the password crackdown a success because their revenue increased and their growth accelerated, at least in the US.

Source: New York Times