Netflix password sharing with family and friends is common nowadays, along with other streaming services worldwide. But Netflix recently started a test to crackdown password sharing that will prevent unauthorised use. The service may ask you to verify the account owner if the Netflix system detects login from a different household.
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What is Netflix password sharing crackdown strategy?
According to The Manifest report, over 33% of people share their streaming service password with at least 1 to 2 other people. So, these streaming companies like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, and others lose their revenue.
Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, said in 2016, “Password sharing is something you have to learn to live with, because there’s so much legitimate password sharing, like you sharing with your spouse, with your kids, so there’s no bright line, and we’re doing fine as is”. But the scenario has changed in the last five years, especially when Netflix acquired significant numbers of new customers during COVID-19.
Currently, Netflix has over 200 million subscribers worldwide and if over 33% of users sharing their password mean the loss of a multi-billion dollar. So Netflix is trialling a password sharing detection technology to detect the login from different household and showing the message below.
“If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.”
Once it detects the password sharing, it will prompt you to get free 30 days trial or verify via email or SMS.
Will Netflix password sharing crackdown trial affect every country and device?
Indeed, there is no clear indication of trial running worldwide or only in the USA. Some people noticed that it does detect the TV’s login at this moment and not the mobile or streaming boxes. But it could work worldwide sooner or later once the test gathering data successfully and not logging false alarm for genuine password sharing.
People also arguing that if they have kids living in different cities and have a family plan of Netflix, still password sharing is illegal? And there is no clear answer yet for such a scenario, but that is a fair question by Netflix users. Once Netflix trials finish, other streaming services may run the same test and stop the password sharing with other viewers.
Why the password sharing is common when it’s not legal as per streaming services policy?
Well, rather than getting into legal or illegal password sharing, look at broad scenarios like mentioned above of family members living in separate houses or cities. People are thinking about multiple subscriptions cost for individuals and question is, is it worth? Generally, it’s expensive to have multiple streaming services, and when it comes to individual subscription, it may blast your budget.
The streaming companies know that most people can’t afford to have an individual account for multiple services. Even these services did know that people are sharing the passwords and are okay with it.
On the other hand, subscribers may have the mindset of getting a family plan and sharing it with their other family members. That sound fine if people are sharing Netflix or different streaming services password at an acceptable level. There is a very thin line between legal and illegal for password sharing when streaming service polices have lack of clarification.
Of course, any services in the world don’t like to lose revenue by providing free or shared services. But when it comes to online services, it’s a little hard to control sharing usage. Whereas many companies using IP and Geo detection technology to detect such user behaviour. And it is working well as far as it’s not annoying the users. As in general, such technology has plus and minus points when its related to users privacy.
Netflix password sharing detection trial is acceptable and will help them grow their user base and revenue in the future for investors. But they have to keep in mind that genuine password sharing of streaming service in place as well. Otherwise, users may unsubscribe from their services if they have to go through an annoying verification method multiple times. After all, it’s not about only password sharing, but it’s about user experience as well. Especially when people have options like Disney Plus, HBO Go, Hulu, Amazon Prime and similar other services.