What Netflix's crackdown on password sharing means for you

Netflix, the streaming company from back then tweeted Love is Sharing a Password has begun cracking down on password sharing in the United States to boost revenue in a now-saturated streaming market.

The company previously stated that more than 100 million subscribers worldwide access Netflix through password sharing and disclosed that April 2022 that it lost subscribers for the first time in over a decade. The company added 7.66 million New subscribers for the final quarter of 2022, when the company rolled out its lower-cost, ad-supported tier, and added 1.75 million net new subscribers in the first quarter of 2023.

The streamer has slowly rolled out its new password protocol worldwide. Earlier this week, the company began alerting US customers who shared their accounts with others outside of their household about the new policy. “Your Netflix account is for you and the people you live with — your household,” the company said Tuesday.

Here’s what this means for users.

How will Netflix enforce this?

With the new policy, only users who are part of a “Netflix household” — those who share the same internet connection — can access the account unless they get paid additional users added to a Standard or Premium plan become. Anyone who currently borrows a Netflix password will receive an update when attempting to log in, telling them how to open their own account, the Washington post reported.

A Netflix spokesperson said that if a viewer who is not in a household attempts to log into that household’s account, that person will “see notifications in the Netflix product flow prompting them to either change their profile via Profile transfer to a new account or being added as an “additional member” to an existing account, which would incur additional costs.

The company says it will use information like IP addresses, device IDs and account activity to determine if a device belongs to a household and insists it doesn’t collect GPS data from users.

Netflix has said customers can still access their accounts while traveling, through their personal devices, or on a TV at a hotel or vacation home. It remains unclear how long a device can remain logged in from another location.

What can users do?

For a fee, Standard plan subscribers can add one additional member outside of their household for $15.49 per month, while Premium plan subscribers can add two for $19.99 per month. For both tiers, each additional user would cost an additional $7.99 per month. According to Netflix, the additional member has their own profile, account, and password, but their membership is paid for by the person who invited them to join.

Users added to these memberships must activate their accounts in the same country as the original membership, can only view or download content on one device at a time, and cannot create additional profiles or sign up as a child profile.

Users who have previously shared a subscription and decide to divert the money to their own account can do so transfer transfer their old profiles to a new account. The streamer now offers a $6.99 “Standard with Ads” that includes “all but a few movies and TV shows,” while the $9.99 Basic account offers unlimited, ad-free streaming. The company’s standard and premium options come with additional perks like the ability to use more than one device at a time and download content across multiple devices.

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write to Simmone Shah at simmone.shah@time.com.

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