Netflix May Be Cracking Down On Password Sharing – Is This a Smart Move?

using remote control to turn on Netflix on screen
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Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) has long estimated that about a third of its customers share their password with people outside of their household. The $13.99 per month standard plan allows two people to watch at once, with the intention that one person might be watching in the family room and another in the bedroom.

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Many users, especially those with only one TV, have given their passwords to friends or relatives. Some of these folks have shared it with others, too. Netflix management was not concerned about this when its growth was stronger and it had less competition. That’s changing, and CNBC reports that Netflix is starting to nudge users about it.

The company is currently sending a message to users that it suspects are using someone else’s password. The notice reads “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.” Some users are then signing up for their own accounts, while others click through. The message addresses both password sharing and account security, but it does not seem that the company has cut anyone off yet.

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The company already prohibits more than two logins at once, which is often how people discover that their password has been widely shared. With 200 million subscribers worldwide, Netflix is the largest of the streaming companies. One way to stay large is to get everyone who uses the service to have their own account. This may be a first step to a more intrusive block. 

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About the Author

Ann Logue is a writer specializing in business and finance. Her most recent book is The Complete Idiot’s Guide: Options Trading (Alpha 2016). She lives in Chicago.

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