For the last few years, Netflix has been hinting at cracking down on password sharing, and now they’re getting serious about it in the US. Now, an inadvertent update on January 31st to their help content page revealed that Netflix is meaning to block devices that haven’t been reverified every 31 days.
“Love Is Sharing a Password”
In 2017, Netflix was all about letting users share their passwords with loved ones, friends, and virtually anyone. They even tweeted about it:
Love is sharing a password.
— Netflix (@netflix) March 10, 2017
Obviously, Netflix played the long game, getting users addicted to their exclusive content and now asking them to pay for it. The strategy worked since at least 100 million households around the world started sharing passwords.
It’s estimated that password sharing resulted in Netlfix missing out on an additional $9.1B in 2021, so it’s obvious why Netflix is trying to recoup some of that lost revenue.
The New Policy
Netflix has been reemphasizing its updated sharing policy: “A Netflix account is for people who live together in a single household.”
As such, has been testing various ways to prevent password sharing over the last year or so in smaller countries, but this is the first time they are really targeting the US.
The news came to light when Netflix inadvertently updated its help page for some countries explaining how to stay logged in to Netflix on your various devices:
“To ensure uninterrupted access to Netflix, connect to the Wi-Fi at your primary location, open the Netflix app or website, and watch something at least once every 31 days. This creates a trusted device so you can watch Netflix, even when you’re away from your primary location.”
Netflix has since taken down the updated help content on the US page, but it can still be found by using Wayback Machine, the Internet’s archive.
23% Of US Households Think Movies Should Be Free
Netflix is making these changes during a looming recession when consumers are likely to tighten their purses. Even the recently launched ad-supported Netflix tier has struggled to gain traction despite being about half the price of a regular Netflix subscription.
And it’s no wonder. A survey taken in 2022 revealed that almost a quarter of US Internet users think that movies and music should be available to everyone for free.
While piracy has declined drastically over the years with the launch of new, affordable streaming platforms, it’s still surprising that many users still want their content for free.
One of the primary reasons for this opinion was that “movie/music companies still make lots of money,” so it will be interesting to see whether requiring users to get their own Netflix accounts will actually lead to more subscribers and, thus, more revenue for Netflix or will Netflix freeloaders resort to pirating again.
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