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Netflix password-sharing crackdown test prompts users to pay extra

Published Mar 16th, 2022 1:57PM EDT
Netflix office
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Once again, Netflix is cracking down on password sharing — at a time when, whether coincidentally or not, new subscriber sign-ups have slowed a bit for the world’s biggest streaming service.

In an announcement on Wednesday, March 16, Netflix explained in a company press release that it’s going to start prompting password-sharers who don’t live in the physical household of the main account holder to start paying up. The practice, among other things, impacts “our ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members,” Netflix director of product innovation Chengyi Long said in the news release.

“So for the last year, we’ve been working on ways to enable members who share outside their household to do so easily and securely, while also paying a bit more.” Importantly, this new initiative will show up first outside the US in three countries. The company says that over the next few weeks, the effort will first materialize in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru.

Can you share passwords on Netflix?

In case anyone needs a reminder: Technically, you can share your Netflix password with someone who doesn’t live with you. But it’s against the rules, and it’s right there in Netflix’s terms of service. Your account “may not be shared with individuals beyond your household.” 

None of this news should come as a surprise, by the way. Netflix has been moving steadily in this direction for months now. In mid-March 2021, for example, some Netflix users found themselves facing a warning screen while attempting to log in.

The app was nudging them towards opening their own Netflix accounts rather than using someone else’s. The page also offered account verification options. That was in case the person seeing the warning happened to be the account owner.

Long story short: If you’re mooching off someone else’s Netflix account? You should probably start planning for when that won’t be an option anymore. Because it just might be sooner than expected for you.

Password sharing crackdown

As part of this initiative, these are the two new features Netflix says it’s launching to crack down on password-sharing.

  • Add an Extra Member: Subscribers on Netflix’s Standard and Premium plans will be able to add sub accounts for up to two people they don’t live with. Each of those accounts can have their own profile, personalized recommendations, login and password. And, Netflix’s announcement continues, “at a lower price: 2,380 CLP in Chile, 2.99 USD in Costa Rica, and 7.9 PEN in Peru.”
  • Transfer Profile to a New Account: Again, per Netflix, subscribers on the streaming platform’s Basic, Standard, and Premium plans can enable people who share their account to transfer profile information either to a new account or an Extra Member sub account. Doing so can also keep the account’s viewing history, My List, and personalized recommendations. 

More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out our coverage of the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.

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.

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