It’s not my fault; it’s Netflix’s.
People are bracing themselves for awkward conversations with friends and family as Netflix prepares to crack down on password sharing in the United States.
Customers who share their Netflix accounts with someone outside their household will soon be charged a monthly fee by the popular streaming service.
So how do you break it to your mooching Netflix pals that it’s over?
“It’s Netflix’s fault, loud and clear. “Blame them again, and then blame them again,” said Jeffrey Hall, an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas and a friendship expert.
“It’s not like I’m kicking you off my account because I’ve got someone else or because I don’t like you anymore. It’s Netflix that is doing it. And we all know that in relationships, who is to blame matters a lot.”
Sharing Netflix passwords was a sign of friendship.
According to Hall, sharing resources with friends and family is common in cultures all over the world. “When there is no additional cost to me, sharing with you is a sign of friendship,” he explained.
According to Parks Associates’ 2022 survey, 40% of internet consumers in the United States share or use shared credentials, up from 27% in 2019.
Friends of Hall’s share their Disney account with him so that his two children can watch children’s programming. If Disney follows Netflix’s lead, Hall says he’ll thank his friends and let them off the hook.
“You as my friend would not obligate me to incur additional costs because friendship forbids it,” Hall explained. “You’re not going to say, ‘Hey Jeff, pay for my access so I can keep getting it indefinitely.'” Friends don’t do that to each other.”
Did Netflix discontinue password sharing?
Netflix is looking to squeeze a few more dollars out of freeloaders as subscriber growth slows. As competitors proliferate and people return to pre-pandemic viewing habits such as commuting and travel, the streaming service is under increasing pressure.
According to the company, 100 million people watch Netflix using someone else’s account.
As a result, Netflix is beginning to limit streaming access to people who live in the same household. Subscribers who want to share their accounts with people outside their household must pay or risk losing access.
Netflix has implemented the new restrictions in countries such as New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain, and says changes will be implemented in other countries soon.
Netflix subscribers all over the world are outraged by the new account sharing policy.
Netflix executives acknowledge that the new policy will be unpopular, and that some customers may cancel their subscriptions. It intends to entice them back with high-quality content.
However, many people are having a difficult time. Netflix subscribers in Canada are being asked to pay an extra $8 per month – $96 per year – at a time when high inflation and interest rates are already squeezing household budgets.
How to Approach Friends About Terminating Netflix Access
Conversations about money can be difficult. But, according to Hall, the foundations of friendship are kindness and forgiveness.
“If you approach these conversations in that manner, they should go well,” Hall said.
Janice McCabe, associate professor of sociology at Dartmouth College and author of “Connecting in College: How Friendship Networks Matter for Academic and Social Success,” advises approaching friends and relatives first by affirming your relationship and expressing how much you value the relationship.
“Then you can get into the technical details: you won’t be able to use the account because of these new rule changes,” McCabe explained.
You can also use the Netflix policy to propose spending more time together, such as: “Since we can’t keep sharing how we were, let’s find a time to watch our favourite show together.”
“As you’re watching the show, discussing the show, and planning these watch parties/get-togethers, this will create more in-person connection,” McCabe said. “It could even be a way to re-establish a friendship or friendship group that hasn’t recovered from the disruption of COVID, or it could be a way to forge a new tie if you’ve been craving more connection.”