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Here’s how Netflix will come after password-sharers in early 2023

Updated Oct 20th, 2022 2:54PM EDT
Selling Sunset on Netflix
Image: Netflix

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One aspect of the Netflix earnings report from Tuesday that didn’t get as much immediate attention as did the overall highlights of the quarter — like the better-than-expected subscriber additions and the overall snapshot of the company’s health at the moment — is the streamer’s plan to crack down on Netflix account sharing in earnest starting sometime in early 2023.

That’s the timetable that was given for Netflix to implement what amounts to a two-pronged plan to “monetize” subscribers who aren’t currently paying anything to access the streaming giant’s content. And now, at last, we know how that plan will unfold.

The plan to tackle Netflix account sharing

This two-part effort, by the way, is related to something we detailed in an earlier post, regarding the ability for subscribers to transfer their profile details to an all-new account. Netflix account details absolutely needed to be portable, of course, if the streamer wants people to eventually move away from borrowing someone else’s account to starting one of their own — a barrier to which might be the fear of “starting over” and losing all of one’s account preferences.

That said, there are two things to be aware of here regarding what’s happening soon around Netflix account sharing. And Netflix details them both in its latest quarterly shareholder letter:

We’ve landed on a thoughtful approach to monetize account sharing and we’ll begin rolling this out more broadly starting in early 2023. After listening to consumer feedback, we are going to offer the ability for borrowers to transfer their Netflix profile into their own account, and for sharers to manage their devices more easily and to create sub-accounts (“extra member”), if they want to pay for family or friends.

That message in the letter is directed at two types of Netflix streamers. If you’re currently borrowing a Netflix password from someone you know — like a friend or family member who you don’t live in the same house with — Netflix will prod you to either buy your own subscription or get cut off. To make that easier, you’ll be able to transfer, as we noted above, your existing Netflix preferences and so forth to an all-new account of your own. Also, that person will go from paying nothing now to the full cost of whatever subscription plan they choose.

The second prong here: If you’re the one who’s currently letting a moocher share your Netflix account, you’ll be given the option by the company to create a “sub-account” for that person. That is, instead of them starting and paying for a Netflix account of their own, they’d now be formally housed under yours. In this scenario, they’re still kind of mooching off of you, even though they’ll have a profile of their own — because you’ll have to cough up a yet-to-be-determined fee to Netflix in order to bring them under your account.

More Netflix news

: Netflix Top 10: The most-watched shows in the world right now

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.