A block to Netflix password sharing looks to be inbound

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An update to Netflix’s ‘Help Center’ has revealed how the company plans to block password sharing. Sigh.

There seems to be more difficult change on the horizon for Netflix. 2022 was a pretty bumpy year for the company with subscriber losses happening for the first time, not to mention the exit of founder Reed Hastings from everyday management of the company. Netflix also found itself taking some pretty drastic steps to draw in subscribers such as the addition of a cheaper, ad-supported tier, something the platform had previously vowed it would never do.

Well, it looks like it might be the dawn of an era of walking back on things, as new details have emerged on Netflix’s US platform that outline how the company intends to block account sharing. The sharing of passwords between households has always been a key feature in growing Netflix’s popularity, in fact it was even encouraged by the company at one point. But after a few years of hinting that it would stamp the practice out, it looks like that time may finally have come. After all, it has billions now. It doesn’t need us poor people.

An update to the US ‘Help Center’ states that Netflix accounts will still be shareable ‘but only within one household.’ In order to keep on top of this, Netflix will require users to connect to the Wi-Fi at your ‘primary location’ and use the streaming service ‘at least once every 31 days.’

For people that travel a lot and regularly use Netflix beyond the reach of their wi-fi, prepare yourself for a few extra steps before accessing the service: ‘users who want to use Netflix on a hotel smart TV, company laptop, etc. can request a temporary code from the service when signing in. This will give them access to their account for seven consecutive days.’

Given the turbulent state of the streaming market at the moment, the timing of this move is pretty bold from Netflix, with new co-CEO Greg Peters recently saying, ‘this will not be a universally popular move… [There will be] a bit of cancel reaction to that.’

No shit, Greg.

How quickly this rolls out to the UK and other territories is as yet, unknown as is the hit that Netflix will take to its subscriber levels. Does the company have enough on its 2023 slate to keep you subscribing if password sharing is removed? Let us know your thoughts. If nothing else, 2023 promises to be another very interesting year for the world’s largest streaming platform.

The Streamable

Image: BigStock

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