Netflix’s password sharing crackdown is bad news if your ex or former roommate is still using your account, or if you, like me, share multiple streaming accounts with family and close friends to save money.
(I share a Netflix account with family members who live hundreds of miles away).
There was some confusion Wednesday when Netflix’s help centre page for US customers briefly displayed information for countries where the streaming giant has tested paid password sharing.
So, how will Netflix enforce a new policy in the United States, and how much will it cost us?
So far, here’s what we know.
Is Netflix preventing people from sharing their passwords?
Netflix’s policy on password sharing for US customers has not yet changed. Last month, the company stated that it intends to expand the availability of password-sharing features by March 31, the end of the first quarter.
“People who do not live in your household will need to use their own account to watch Netflix,” according to Netflix’s help centre page for US customers.
Last year, the company announced that it would take steps to reduce password sharing.
“Today’s widespread account sharing (100 million+ households) jeopardises our long-term ability to invest in and improve Netflix, as well as grow our business,” Netflix said in an earnings report.
Will Netflix start charging for password sharing?
Since early last year, Netflix has been testing a paid-sharing model in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru.
The company stated in a letter to shareholders that it expects to launch paid sharing “more broadly” by the end of March, but has not specified prices or a rollout date.
Can I share my Netflix account with family members who live in a different house?
Users with a Standard or Premium plan in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru “can share Netflix with someone who doesn’t live with them for less than the price of our Basic plan,” according to Netflix’s FAQ page.
“As we roll out paid sharing, members in many countries will have the option to pay extra if they want to share Netflix with people they don’t live with,” Netflix explained in the letter.
Netflix has no way of knowing if you’re sharing passwords.
Netflix claims that it detects devices within a household using information such as IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity.
What is Netflix’s current monthly fee?
Netflix offers four plans to its US subscribers:
Basic with advertisements: $6.99 per month
Regular: $15.49 per month
$19.99 per month for Premium